Health Insurance

Even Obamacare supporters know this: subsidies alone will cost taxpayers over $11 billion

Obamacare Costs

The weak attempt at trying to tout Obamacare as the reason why consumers are not paying as much in out-of-pocket care, in spite of the premium increases, has had a good run but now, it’s time to focus on the facts: government assistance offered to nine in 10 Americans who signed for health care coverage plans through the Affordable Care Act exchange will cost roughly $11 billion to the federal government this year.

Once you also add assistance offered through state-run exchanges in the mix, costs could top $16.5 billion, but since precise data regarding consumers buying plans in states that run their own exchanges is not available, the numbers are just a rough estimate.

While the subsidies may sound generous, the cost to taxpayers will affect everybody, including low- and middle-income Americans.

The media, and fervent supporters of this administration’s signature health care law, may have picked up the deceptive talking point and run with it, but the reality is that even with subsidies, the cost of insurance plans for individuals available after Obamacare kicked in was approximately 38 percent more expensive than plans available in 2013.

Freedom…It Doesn’t Mean What You Think It Means

Last week, the Democrats held their Winter Meeting at the Capital Hilton, where Emperor Obama, Slayer of Insurance Companies, Defender of the Poor (and making more every day), the Duke of Deficits, addressed his faithful assembled minions, dispensing tidbits of propaganda like an imperial Pez dispenser, reeling them in with promises of endless supplies of government candy, assuring them it is oh so good for them.

Obama declared that “[a]s Democrats, we’ve let the other side define the word ‘freedom’ for too long…freedom for ordinary Americans to honestly pursue their dreams, that’s what we believe.” He went on to define freedom as the power of government to protect you from any adverse circumstance that may arise in your life, and as the ability for government to provide for your health care, your retirement, food, housing, and so on and so forth.

To quote the inimitable Inigo Montoya, the glorious Spaniard from one of my all time favorite movies, The Princess Bride…Mr. Obama, “You keep using that word [freedom]…I do not think it means what you think it means!’” What Obama is describing is not freedom; it is lifelong dependency on the gargantuan Nanny State, with promises of cradle-to-grave nurturing no matter how irresponsible the decisions you make in your life. Of course, the only way for government to protect you from your own mistakes is by forcing others to pay the price for you. Every action has a consequence, and just because you don’t suffer does not mean that someone does not suffer. Someone has to pay the piper. There is no free lunch.

Off-exchange health plans see 39% to 56% premium increase from 2013

The National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR) released a study earlier this week finding that Americans looking to purchase health insurance on the state and federal Obamacare exchanges would find higher premiums and less choice than plans available last year on private exchanges.

The findings in the study aren’t surprising given that Obamacare mandates a number of changes to health insurance, including minimum benefits and actuarial requirements, all of which result increase the cost of coverage. Though the NCPPR offered some insight into the higher costs consumers face, it didn’t offer much in real dollars being spent on health insurance coverage compared to 2013 plans.

eHealthInsurance.com (eHealth), however, has released data that does provide some insight into how much consumers are paying for off-exchange health plans compared to a year ago. Despite a multitude of promises that Obamacare would make health coverage more affordable, the eHealth study proves otherwise.

“As of February 24, 2014, the average premium for an individual health plan selected through eHealth without a subsidy was $274 per month,” the nation’s first and largest private exchange noted in a recent press release, ”a 39% increase from the average individual premium for pre-Obamacare coverage.”

LOLbamacare: Administration extends health plan fix for two years

Nearly an hour after the House of Representatives passed a measure to ostensibly delay enforcement of the individual mandate, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced that it would extend the “administrative fix” for canceled health plans through 2016 as well as extended the open enrollment period for 2015:

The Obama administration announced Wednesday it will let people with health insurance plans that don’t comply with the Affordable Care Act standard to keep them into 2017 if their states permit.

The administration also extended Obamacare’s open enrollment for next year by one month—it now will run from Nov. 15, 2014, until Feb. 15, 2015—and gave insurers more financial help in dealing with costs from new ACA enrollees.

The announced rule changes also simplified the paperwork that larger employers will have to file when the rule obliging them to offer affordable health insurance to workers begins in 2015.
[…]
Under the new rule, people who maintain those plans, and who renew them as late as Oct. 1, 2016, will be able to keep them until as late as 2017. The administration said the rule will apply to anyone currently in a non-compliant small-group plan, as well as an individual plan, and said it would be up to individual states to allow the extension, and to what extent.

Nancy Pelosi predicted CBO’s terrible Obamacare report

On Tuesday, the Congressional Budget Office released its regular report scoring Obamacare’s impact on the budget and economic outlook over 10 years. It fails, of course. Big time. But at least Democrats saw it coming.

While arguing in support of the bill just after its passage in 2010, House Speaker at the time, Nancy Pelosi called Obamacare an “entrepreneurial bill”:

…a bill that says to someone, if you want to be creative and be a musician or whatever, you can leave your work, focus on your talent, your skill, your passion, your aspirations because you will have health care.

Nevermind that someone else will be subsidizing your funemployment. Not only was this loss of 2.5 million jobs over 10 years expected, it was celebrated by Pelosi (and presumably many other Democrats) as a good thing.

PolitiFact Confirms Joe Wilson was Right, Obama Lied

Joe Wilson

It looks like Joe Wilson was right. Wilson, the Republican Congressman from South Carolina, gained instant notoriety when, in the middle of Obama’s September 9, 2009 State of the Union address, Wilson spontaneously yelled out “YOU LIE!” after listening to our Obfuscator-in-Chief drone on about the supposed glories of the new ObamaCare law. In retrospect, it was not that Wilson broke decorum with his outburst that he should be faulted for, but for his failure to specify which of the many Obama lies he was referring to.

Wilson’s accusation has just been given greater validity with the announcement that Obama has won PolitiFact’s “Lie of the Year” Award. PolitiFact is the Pulitzer-prize winning column of the Tampa Bay Times, which takes claims by politicians and other public figures and rates their truthfulness.

And there is not a lot of truthfulness in Obama’s claim that “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it.” This wasn’t an unscripted, off-the-cuff comment that Obama could be excused for uttering in the heat of a partisan speech defending his health care reform law, but a claim made more than three dozen times, without caveats, without addendum, and without fine print. He said that if we like our doctors or health insurance plans, we can keep them, “PERIOD.”

President Obama thinks he already saved your employer plan

At this point, everyone generally accepts that the President’s purported one-year delay in forcing you to lose your individual health insurance policy (and, more importantly, corralling you into the Obamacare exchange) was political grandstanding amounting to almost no practical benefit.  At last check, 19 states had rejected the so-called “fix.”  For those that have adopted it, congratulations on delaying the inevitable.

The Obama administration has recently tried to reframe the narrative of this fiasco by focusing on the fact that only 5% of Americans purchase an individual health insurance policy.  After all, why concern ourselves over the health plan of 14 or 15 million Americans when their sacrifices will benefit the much grander scope of universal utopia?

Talking Obamacare over Turkey

Thanksgiving and Obamacare

It’s tough being a smarty-pants, know-it-all, dismissive-of-logic-in-favor-of-groupthink, 25-35 year old true believer in Hope and Change this holiday season. Because that conservative and close-minded family of yours is about to hammer you at the Thanksgiving table over Obamacare, and it’s going to be hard to hear — and we know how difficult hard things are for you to hear.

But chin up little camper! The machine you believe in has some talking points to toss around in response — with your trademark false intellectual snobbery and Kruschev-like, self-righteous table pounding — when grandpa starts in on what a wreck that new healthcare system has turned out to be. And, lucky for you, there’s no thinking required at all. Just memorization and regurgitation. A common core of policy response, if you will. The Huffington Post makes it easier for you by including all those .gifs you like, and using some of your vernacular.

Emily: GOP Governors are largely responsible for the struggling health care rollout in the first place. And Democrats are wimps, so that’s not a surprise to anybody.

No, Mr. President, expanding Medicaid isn’t a “no brainer”

Earlier this month, President Barack Obama visited Dallas, Texas to give a speech in front of supporters in which he tried to pressure Republican governors to expand Medicaid, a government program that covers people who make below 138% of the federal poverty line.

“We were just talking on the way over here that in addition to signing people up for the marketplaces so they can buy private insurance, part of the Affordable Care Act was expanding the number of working families who would qualify for Medicaid,” President Obama told supporters.

“Here in just the Dallas area, 133,000 people who don’t currently have health insurance would immediately get health insurance without even having to go through the website if the state of Texas decided to do it,” he said. “There’s over $500 million just for this county that would come in to help families get health insurance — has nothing to do with the website — if the state of Texas made this decision.”

“And your neighboring states have made that decision because they look at it and they say, this is a no-brainer, why would not — why would we not want to take advantage of this,” he added.

The fact that President Obama gave this speech in Texas, home to the country’s largest uninsured population, isn’t a coincidence. Seeking to capitalize on the state’s large Hispanic population, there is a big push by activist Democrats with help from the party to “turn Texas blue.” Part of this effort is to pressure Texas politicians, including Gov. Rick Perry, to accept Medicaid expansion, which is part of the Obamacare.

Obama could let you keep your plan, but he doesn’t want to

 If I like your plan, you can keep it

Last Thursday morning, President Obama issued his latest proclamation in an attempt to save face on his farcical promise.  Of course, the “relief” came far too late and with far too many restrictions to have any practical, real-world effect.

It’s become instinctive at this point to assume that every policy decision that comes from the Obama administration is a blatant violation of separation of powers.  After all, this is the administration that unilaterally delayed enforcement of Obamacare’s employer mandate in direct violation of the statutory requirements.  Many prominent commentators have immediately jumped back on this bandwagon again in this latest Obamacare edict.

But here’s the real legal low-down: President Obama and his executive agencies (HHS/DOL/IRS) have almost unlimited discretion in determining what is considered a “grandfathered health plan.”


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