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Archive for Thursday, May 1, 2014

Number of Kansans who signed up for insurance through marketplace exceeds government’s expectations

May 1, 2014

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The number of Kansans who enrolled in the Affordable Care Act's health insurance marketplace exceed the federal government's expectations, according to a report released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Thursday.

In all, 57,013 Kansans chose a plan on the marketplace, a major piece of the 2010 law often called Obamacare, from Oct. 1 through April 19. However, the government didn't have data on how many were previously uninsured or paid for their plans. HHS had originally predicted that 53,000 Kansans would select a plan during the open enrollment period.

"Clearly we have more people with insurance than today than we did before and we have people able to buy it who couldn't before because of preexisting conditions," Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger said. "The whole goal is to improve health status by getting people preventive care and the appropriate care before it becomes a chronic condition."

She was also pleased that, even though it was a few percentage points below the target, 32 percent of Kansans aged 18-34 signed up for plans in the marketplace. Younger, healthier people are needed to keep the risk pool stable. However, Praeger acknowledged that even with the positive numbers, many Kansans continue to lack health insurance. "I hope our state eventually does Medicaid expansion because we're not going to close that gap until we do," she said.

While Kansas has elected not to participate in the law's Medicaid expansion, which would have increased eligibility to individuals and families up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, 13,691 Kansans were determined to be eligible for Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program through the exchange.

In Kansas, the majority of enrollees — 60 percent — chose the silver plan, which covers 70 percent of health care costs. Also, 79 percent of those who signed up received financial assistance.

Heartland Community Health Center, one of the places in Lawrence that had navigators trained to enroll people in the marketplace, helped more than 200 people sign up for plans, mostly in the final month of enrollment. Heartland, which serves both insured and uninsured patients, plans to continue offering marketplace assistance when the next signup period begins Nov. 15. The clinic expects that a federal grant that pays for those services will be renewed.

"Before open enrollment, this had never been done before and we had no idea what to expect … so we'll be a lot more prepared next time," said Ali Edwards, development director for Heartland. "The rollout of the health insurance marketplace was an interesting, tumultuous time. But as the numbers suggest, this is something people want."

One person who benefited from the law in Lawrence is Kathleen Beer, who is retired but not yet old enough to qualify for Medicare. She found about $2,000 in annual savings by purchasing insurance through the marketplace.

Beer bought a platinum plan, which covers 90 percent of health care costs, because she had some expensive medical procedures coming up. The Blue Cross Blue Shield plan also has no deductible and covers half of her medication costs.

"I'm really happy because I get to can keep my own doctor. He's in the network of contracted providers," Beer said. "I'm especially happy because for the first time I have a drug plan. … My costs had been running about $500 a month, and they're now about $250. And at age 63, I have quite a few medications."

Comments

Joshua Montgomery 4 months, 2 weeks ago

But Fox News and Dolph Simons keep telling us the ACA isn't working. That it is a disaster, that it is the end of 'merica as we know it.

What gives? The facts don't align with the propaganda?

Too bad Kansas missed out on the medicaid expansion. There are now hundreds of thousands of Kansans who are uninsured because Gov. Brownback has been making decisions based on propaganda instead of facts.

It's time for a change.

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Brett McCabe 4 months, 2 weeks ago

When do the death panels begin convening? Maybe they can combine their efforts with the Palin Baptism Program and save both time and money.

Apparently, Obamacare isn't the equivalent of an asteroid hitting the earth, as most Republicans would have led some to believe. However, I'm sure that it's holding up the Menard's development.

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MerriAnnie Smith 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Just one little correction, Joshua. Brownback didn't listen to the propaganda. He put the propaganda out. Others less clever than him are listening to him and others like him in the Republican Party.

Brownback's reason for turning down Medicaid expansion is political. With full knowledge that he's wrong, he chooses to keep poor and sick Kansans off Medicaid. That is his decision because the people who will support his candidacy this year and later for the presidency will not support him if he puts sick Kansans first.

This man's hubris knows no limits. He and his pals at ALEC and AFP and the Chamber of Commerce toil day and night for their deep pocket supporters.

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Douglas Thompson 4 months, 2 weeks ago

We should absolutely be working to expand health coverage to those who need it, but this is not the way to do it. Here is a perfect example of why this is not sustainable:

"Beer bought a platinum plan, which covers 90 percent of health care costs, because she had some expensive medical procedures coming up."

You can't let people buy insurance this way, it isn't insurance anymore. Lets have a national conversation about healthcare - we as a country owe that to ourselves. But regardless of which side of the aisle you are on, the ACA is not a good solution. If things like the above continue to happen it breaks down the system which will be more harmful for the long term expansion of health coverage for all.

1

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 4 months, 2 weeks ago

I see flaws in this program, but year after year, after year, Congress said they would do something about health care, and nothing happened. Republicans continue to want to repeal the bill, but they have nothing with which to replace it. Our for profit system has not worked. People are being let out of the hospital too early to increase profits, but they end up coming back. Pricing for a procedure can vary by hundreds of dollars just even across town. Drug companies provide doctors with incentives to over prescribe their medicines. Drug companies sell their drugs in other countries at a lower price, but the US allows them to gouge the customers in the name of "free market". At least the ACA is doing something and not just talking about it.

The only thing that I've heard from Republicans is their solution to everything. Tax credits and vouchers. Tax credits are ok, if you have enough money to pay the medical bill in the first place. Vouchers aren't a lot different than subsidizing insurance, except it would create even more bureaucracy than the ACA system. To me the best system would be single payer. It would drastically cut down on paperwork, so unfortunately there might be some layoffs, but it would be simplified and everyone would be paying their fair share.

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MerriAnnie Smith 4 months, 2 weeks ago

The gains in jobs for medical services would make up for any layoffs.

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Scott Quenette 4 months, 2 weeks ago

It sure worked the other way for years with benefit caps and companies just flat out dropping customers when they got too expensive. Let them dip into their obscene profits a little bit.

Better yet, bury them all and go with Medicare for all.

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Douglas Thompson 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Scott, they aren't going to dip into their profits, they are simply going to raise rates which makes it more expensive for all. Since there were limits on what they can spend on operations, the higher the rates the more they can spend. This includes salaries and bonuses. In other words, the insurers are not interested in keeping the costs low, they are interested in raising rates - which is easier to do when coverage is mandated.

But the only way to fix this is for both sides to stop with the hyper partisanship. The republicans need to stop saying the democrats are socialists and the democrats need to stop saying that republicans hate poor people and want them to die. That doesn't advance the national conversation.

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Scott Quenette 4 months, 2 weeks ago

You see, being a Socialist is terrible only in a Republican's eyes because they hate poor people.

Actually they don't hate poor people, they just don't care about them. They only care about how much money they can keep. They're content with skinning the sheep rather than shearing them.

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Douglas Thompson 4 months, 2 weeks ago

That is what I am talking about. You can't ask for cooperation from people when telling them they are bad people.

Republicans are wrong on a lot of things, but insulting them and assuming you know their motives is not helping anything. Do all republicans care about poor people, no. Do many, yes.

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Scott Quenette 4 months, 2 weeks ago

You seem to be under the impression that they want to cooperate. Have you seen any evidence that would lead you to believe that?

4

John Graham 4 months, 2 weeks ago

They have shown as much willingness to cooperate as the democrats/liberals have.

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Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 4 months, 2 weeks ago

One of the first things out of the mouths of Republicans around 5 years ago was to state their main goal was to make sure Obama was a one term president. That doesn't sound very cooperative to me. And at the state level the moderate Republicans, those who are still there, will talk to Democrats, but not the tea partiers.

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John Graham 4 months, 2 weeks ago

The democrats did all they could to try to make Bush a one term president. Neither side can claim the high ground on being cooperative.

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James Howlette 4 months, 1 week ago

Did they make sure people died from lack of health care, John?

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John Kyle 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Douglas, you should actually research the ACA instead of making things up. The insurance companies can't line their pockets because they will be required to pay out 80% of premiums gathered for healthcare. If they collect too much there will be rebates.

http://www.hhs.gov/healthcare/insurance/premiums/value.html

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Douglas Thompson 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Hey John, you are making my point while trying to disagree with me. I am saying that if the rates rise they have more money in which to extract their 20%. Lets say they have premiums of $10, they can spend $2 on non-healthcare expenses. Now lets say that rates skyrocket and premiums are $20, they can now spend $4 on non-healthcare expenses.

The more expensive the insurance is, the more money the insurance companies get to line their pockets. If they reduce the cost of insurance, they can't keep as many dollars as if they work to increase the cost. 20% of a larger number is.... a larger number.

The nice link you provided was EXACTLY what i was talking about.

If you told Walmart they can keep 20% of every can of soda they sold and then said everyone had to buy a can of soda would Walmart want to sell the soda for $1.00 or $50.00? The 80% restriction is a DISINCENTIVE for keeping rates down.

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Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 4 months, 2 weeks ago

And this is why a single payer plan needs to be implemented.

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James Howlette 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Her ability to raise everyone's rates is limited by a narrower enrollment period and adding everyone into the risk pool. For every person who bought a plan with known expenses, there were far more who purchased one without them.

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Douglas Thompson 4 months, 2 weeks ago

I have no idea what you mean when you say that her ability to raise everyone's rates is limited by a narrow enrollment period? As for adding everyone into the risk pool, the ACA has utterly failed to add everyone to the risk pool. It has successfully added the sick to the risk pool and some people who are healthy, but it absolutely positively has not added everyone into the risk pool.

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James Howlette 4 months, 2 weeks ago

By "everyone" I mean "all the people who signed up" and not literally the entire population of the entire USA, although that is now the potential risk pool. The highest risk people are actually on medicare and medicaid. Over a quarter of the enrollees were young adults, which is typically the lowest risk group.

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MerriAnnie Smith 4 months, 2 weeks ago

That's just not true at all, Douglas. You don't know what you're talking about. The several people I know of all ages who signed up for insurance through ACA were all ordinary, NOT SICK, individuals. A few had lost their jobs during Bush's Recession and had to take jobs that paid less and had no health insurance, so they used ACA to get health insurance back. One was just out of college and working but at a place that did not offer health insurance. Another simply had never had health insurance because it cost too much. Then there was my sister who had pre-existing conditions and she signed up early, but she has no indication she will ever have the female problems she had before because she had a hysterectomy.

You need to know what you're talking about before making these grandiose pronouncements in public.

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Douglas Thompson 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Whew, thank goodness, we can stop worrying about the actuarial data, MerriAnnie has us covered. Her broad sample of people consisting of the people she knows has now clarified that enrollment consists only of healthy people. The matter is settled MerriAnnie has spoken to people.

First, when this was first passed it was determined that 40% of the enrollment needed to be young people to make it sustainable. Now we have less than 30% in the pool. Second, it doesn't take any specific expertise to know that those people who are more ill are more likely to sign up for coverage. If you want to see an example of the problem, read the article above. Lady needs expensive care....buys the best insurance plan.

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Scott Burkhart 4 months, 2 weeks ago

How many lost their coverage prior to signing up?. How many are "new" enrollees? How many have actually paid their premiums?

3

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 4 months, 2 weeks ago

How many people signed up with their companies which they could have done all along, but wanted to spend the money on fun things instead?

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James Howlette 4 months, 2 weeks ago

According to the best estimates, it looks like about 87% of enrollees nationally were without insurance prior to signing up through an exchange. Since the numbers reflect people who actually signed up for a plan and not just window shoppers, I'm sure the number who actually paid is also quite high.

As it turns out, people actually DO want affordable health care. Who knew?

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Douglas Thompson 4 months, 2 weeks ago

James, that is not right. First the 87% number was estimated by HHS of those who took subsidies, not of all people. Secondly, they said the numbers may not be that reliable:

Officials said that 87 percent of people who applied for subsidies via the federal exchange HealthCare.gov — which sells policies in 36 states — reported lacking insurance at that time, in response to a question that was asked on that Web site. But officials told reporters that because of independent surveys which have shown that a majority of Obamacare enrollees had previously been insured, along with other factors, made the 87 percent uninsured statistic unreliable.

1

James Howlette 4 months, 2 weeks ago

It was 87% of people who applied for subsidies, not those who took them. The independent surveys are also unreliable. Hence "estimates."

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Lee Eldridge 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Actually, the administration chose not to track who already had been insured. And outside surveys have shown the majority of those enrolling were previously insured.

1

James Howlette 4 months, 2 weeks ago

They asked the question on the healthcare.gov website as people applied. What they didn't do is big brother track down and verify it. Neither did the outside surveys.

0

MerriAnnie Smith 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Some of you people are wringing your hands in glee at the idea that some won't be able to pay their premiums after signing up. You WANT that to happen so badly that it must keep you awake in anticipation.

Shame on you.

5

James Howlette 4 months, 1 week ago

Exactly. Who are these people who want other people to suffer and die in order to score political points?

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Michael LoBurgio 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Tim Huelskamps bogus claim that #Obamacare has boosted the number of uninsured

“It’s hard to get accurate numbers on anything. But the numbers we see today is that — as I understand them — we believe there are more people uninsured today in Kansas than there were before the president’s health-care plan went into effect. And I thought the goal was to bring more people into insurance.”

– Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.), remarks at a town hall in Salina, Kan., April 14, 2014

“There are more folks uninsured today in our district, we believe, than were uninsured before Obamacare kicked in.”

– Huelskamp. remarks at a town hall in Hays, Kan., April 17, 2014

This column has been updated with a statement from Huelskamp

Rep. Tim Huelskamp is a tea party favorite who has long been a skeptic of the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, but his recent remarks during a swing of town halls jumped out at The Fact Checker. He referred to “numbers” that showed that, even after all the hoopla about 8 million Americans enrolling on the exchanges, the number of uninsured in Kansas has actually risen since the law went into effect.

What is he looking at?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/wp/2014/04/25/the-bogus-claim-that-obamacare-has-boosted-the-number-of-uninsured/

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Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 4 months, 2 weeks ago

In Kansas, where they haven't expanded Medicare, he may be right about fewer insured people. Many companies are dropping insurance, because they no longer have to entice people to work for them. Lots of people have lost their jobs and have taken lower paying jobs with no benefits. It really has nothing to do with the ACA.

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Richard Payton 4 months, 2 weeks ago

The jury is still out on if this Obamacare will be a success. 8 million have signed up which would be considered a success. The contractor for Obamacare wants $121.00 million to fix the backend of the website. Much more money than planned. Also, Oregon took a lot of federal tax dollars to set up a state ran exchange that never enrolled anyone. Now, Oregon is planning to use the Federal exchange. Will Oregon have to pay back those federal dollars? Will doctors and hospitals have to take a hit on people they cover that hasn't kept up on premiums? I know people that benefit from this new health care law but I also know people that are hurt by this new law. After, the first year how many will pay the fine? How many that signed up on the exchange will owe the IRS because the amount of tax subsidies they received was to much based on their income? The example I'm thinking of is the person gets a raise or better job that puts them into a higher income level.

3

James Howlette 4 months, 2 weeks ago

No question that Oregon's website was the very worst. The contractor for Oregon was Oracle. The website didn't enroll anyone, but the state exchange did. On paper or through navigators, but people got covered. 240,000 of them, which is still more than Kansas. So if they switch to the federal exchange or fix the botched website rollout, they'll do it in a way that won't make previously insured people suddenly no longer covered. And no, they won't have to pay the feds back for the grant they used to set up the state exchange.

Will doctors or hospitals have to take a hit if people don't pay their premiums? What do they do now when someone doesn't pay their insurance bill? They send it to collections and stick the individual for what they owe. It would look like that. Only probably less often, since now more people are actually insured.

People are really stretching to find reasons why this thing won't work.

4

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 4 months, 2 weeks ago

So Oracle made a bundle from ripping off Oregon? The modern business model.

1

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Oregon should pay back the money. The contractor should take the loss. They are the ones who messed up the site to begin with. If you have a contractor build your house and they mess it up, would you pay for it?

1

Lee Eldridge 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Note to Giles:

1 - Prediction that 53,000 Kansans would buy coverage.

2 - 57,013 chose a policy, but are not covered until payment is made.

3 - How many have "purchased" coverage? We don't know. You cannot come to the conclusion yet that we've surpassed predictions. If only 80% pay for their policy, that means we'll be about 7000 short of predictions.

1

Julius Nolan 4 months, 2 weeks ago

And since you have no proof of anything, where did you get wild claim of 80% only paying? Watch much Fox News? How do you know or have reason to think that all of them won't pay? More Fox News lies?

5

John Graham 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Do the math Julius, it will require 93% of the 57,012 signees to make payments to equal 53,000 actually enrolled. Some major carriers ( like the "Blues") have been reporting less than 90% of signees thus far are actually making payments. If anyone thinks all 100% of signees will go on to make payments you have drunk too much of the kool aid.

0

James Howlette 4 months, 2 weeks ago

It's the last ditch effort those poor souls have to resolve their Fox-induced cognitive dissonance. They really really want this to fail, and failing to fail makes their heads hurt.

7

John Graham 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Partial startup of ACA does not equate with success or "failure to fail". It will be years before it can be determined to be a success or a failure. You rush to proclaim "failure to fail" despite it being years away from data to support your claim. Sounds as if you have a cognitive dissonance issue.

0

James Howlette 4 months, 2 weeks ago

It makes me particularly sad to see "unskewing the polls," John, although I am not surprised by your continued insistence on it. The Pee-Wee Herman response is cute, but I'm not the one demanding the equivalent of long form birth certificate data to prove my pre-conceived notion that the ACA would fail. It's years away from longitudinal data on full impacts, sure, but there's plenty of early data indicating that the plan is failing to be a failure. For instance, Gallop:

“The uninsured rate has been falling since the fourth quarter of 2013, after hitting an all-time high of 18.0% in the third quarter — a sign that the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as “Obamacare,” appears to be accomplishing its goal of increasing the percentage of Americans with health insurance coverage.”

3

John Graham 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Nice try to change the promise of ACA. Obama spoke rhapsodic about getting everyone health insurance coverage now that has changed to the more nebulous "its goal of increasing the percentage of Americans with health insurance coverage.” Changing the goal makes it easier for ACA supporters claim success. By that vague new goal even a 1% increase in insured could now be claimed a success for ACA. You wish to bash conservatives when you think they have changed the goal so go ahead and bash the liberals for the same thing. What we will get is your typical statement about what is wrong for the conservative does not apply to the liberals.

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James Howlette 4 months, 1 week ago

I don't recall anything in this speech that says that all Americans will be insured: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/remarks-president-affordable-care-act-and-new-patients-bill-rights I do see a part where he says that the law is less than perfect, though. And that was before the SC decided states like Kansas could neglect their citizens by failing to expand medicaid. Shame on you for wanting more people to be sick.

1

John Graham 4 months, 1 week ago

Nice try, but I never advocated more people being ill. You are grasping at straws and it is quite sad.

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James Howlette 4 months, 1 week ago

Obama also never said that everyone would be insured. You're grasping at straws, and it is quite sad.

1

John Graham 4 months, 1 week ago

Where did he explain that only slightly more than half of uninsured will be covered? I missed that part. Where did he say that 31M will not be helped?

0

James Howlette 4 months, 1 week ago

Probably in the part where the CBO projections actually said that 58 million wouldn't be helped this year. Looks like an even bigger failure to fail to me.

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Mike Ford 4 months, 2 weeks ago

I enrolled November 19th and I've already paid $593 in premiums since January 2014. Stop the lying. Educated people don't believe you and probably never did.

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John Graham 4 months, 2 weeks ago

James, CBO report shows 2014 uninsured rate at 14% (this excludes elderly and unauthorized immigrants). The CBO puts the uninsured rate at 8% 2017-2024. If one considers all US non-elderly (this includes unauthorized immigrants) the uninsured numbers are 16% in 2014 and 11% in 2017-2024. So the ACA reduces the uninsured by less than 50% in both groups. Hardly a rousing success. Sounds closer to a failure to succeed than a failure to fail. ACA will decrease the uninsured but not to the extent Obama indicated. But Obama not telling the truth about ACA is nothing new.

1

John Graham 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Even from the unusually high 18% (uninsured rate had been above 13% to less than 16% during the 2000-2009 decade), CBO projections indicate that after ACA there will still be more than 44% of the pre-ACA uninsured without insurance. An improvement but still far from Obama's promise. In real numbers, CBO projects more than 30M will remain uninsured. Hardly the utopia James you would like it to be.

1

James Howlette 4 months, 2 weeks ago

A lot happened in the 2000-2009 decade, such as the entire economy crashing and middle class jobs being replaced by low wage jobs. Those middle class jobs haven't come back, so it's good to see the uninsured rate dropping from that high point. ...Of course it would drop even more if half the states weren't throwing a temper tantrum at the expense of the health of their own citizens and refusing to expand medicaid. Nothing like allowing people to get sick and die in order to make a political point. Nonetheless, signups have exceeded expectations, and the rate of uninsured is falling, but keep telling yourself it's failing if it helps you sleep at night.

1

John Graham 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Continue that exaggeration of all the masses of people that are sick and dying because they have no current access to any healthcare that ACA is going to suddenly cure. The fact is whether or not they had insurance they had access to healthcare, they were not left to die as you try to tell it. When you can produce those masses that were left to die before ACA but now are cured, get back to me. Until then as you have told me "ya got nothing".

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James Howlette 4 months, 1 week ago

Exactly how many preventable deaths do you find tolerable John? Exactly how many deaths are OK because they're scared by Fox News into thinking they're signing up for death panels if they get insurance from the Exchange? How many deaths are OK because they think they can't afford the cost of care and don't realize that the cost of not going is higher? I'm willing to bet the actual numbers are more than zero, and that's too many. If you think that's acceptable, then shame on you. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/wp/2014/04/29/obamacare-beneficiary-you-wouldnt-have-caught-me-dead-watching-msnbc/

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John Graham 4 months, 1 week ago

Nice exaggerations too bad you can't produce evidence.

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James Howlette 4 months, 1 week ago

If it helps you sleep better to think that, John. Sure. That guy's story I linked was just his story and not at all a repeated theme we've heard over and over when Fox News "Obamacare disasters" were examined more closely. Also, without Obamacare, people would have just magically signed up for insurance in droves, the quality of offerings would have gone up, and they would have forgiven all those silly little pre-existing conditions. Sweet dreams, John.

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Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 4 months, 1 week ago

I can give you all kinds of examples of people who have suffered, because they can't afford care, and why it costs us more in the end. My mother is one. She couldn't afford the medicine for her ulcers even with her medicare, and being too proud to ask for help she just didn't take it. Then the ulcers started bleeding. After a helicopter trip to a bigger hospital in KC, surgery and a lengthy hospital stay she recovered. Fortunately there was a social worker and she and my sister was able to get supplemental medicaid for her medicare. So instead of a nice single payer plan that would have paid for the medicine, expensive care was needed. Our old system was not working. This plan may still not work. We need a single payer plan. Sorry, you don't have any sympathy for my mother. Since you seem to like suffering, you would be happy to know that after this incident she could not take any pain medicine for her arthritis, so until she died, thankfully several years later, she had to live with the arthritis pain from which most of us can get some relief.

If you are talking about the monetary cost of health care, then it would be pennywise to help people out who forgo treatment, because of cost, than to allow the problem to become worse and more expensive. As to the humanitarian cost, how can you watch people suffer?

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James Howlette 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Ah yes. Any solution that makes things better but doesn't completely solve the problem is a "failure." Gotcha. That's a very nice goalpost over there, but I could have sworn it was in a different spot not too long ago.

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John Graham 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Ah yes, fall significantly short of your claimed goals and call it a great success. That is the definition of goal post moving. Once again James you are guilty of the very thing you try to convict me of. I don't remember anywhere in Obama's or any of the ACA supporters speeches about the goal being to get only half of the uninsured covered. Neither did I hear anywhere them talk about the 1 in 12 (31M) that still won't have insurance despite ACA. Seems like Obama and the ACA supporters left out those ugly details. But that isn't the first time he left out ugly details about ACA. Seems like a pattern has formed. Go ahead and move your goal posts some more there James. You are pretty good at it.

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John Graham 4 months, 2 weeks ago

I am sure James you will now explain how the goal of ACA all along was to get only slightly more than half of the uninsured covered. Face facts Obama oversold ACA goals and now you are left trying to explain how slightly more than half is a great success despite Obama's initial rhetoric. Good luck because you can't win that one.

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MerriAnnie Smith 4 months, 2 weeks ago

You're forgetting the millions in states like Kansas who were in the program with expanded Medicaid, but the conservative thugs (called the Supreme Court) decided that Tea Party governors and legislators could refuse to include the poor in Obamacare.

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John Graham 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Approx 8M more would have coverage if all states expanded Medicaid. That would still leave 24-25M without coverage. http://healthaffairs.org/blog/2014/01/30/opting-out-of-medicaid-expansion-the-health-and-financial-impacts/

Granted an improvement but still significantly short of Obama's rhetoric about everyone having health insurance coverage because of ACA. I don't remember any speeches where he or the ACA supporters talked about 25M being left out.

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John Graham 4 months, 2 weeks ago

In summary in 2013, pre-ACA there were 55M uninsured. Even with all states expanding Medicaid, with ACA enacted there will remain 25M uninsured (45% of original uninsured will still be uninsured). While 30M is nothing to sneeze at, the numbers are not nearly as rosy as Obama and the ACA supporters would like everyone to think.

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James Howlette 4 months, 1 week ago

In summary, fewer people are uninsured, and the number of Kansans who signed up for insurance through the exchanges exceeded the government's expectations, per the headline of this very article.

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John Graham 4 months, 1 week ago

You are just goal post moving.

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John Graham 4 months, 1 week ago

Recent article outlines how of those 7-8 M Obama is claiming, less than 30% were previously uninsured. So that indicates a total less than 2.5 M that now have insurance that previously didn't. Be proud James.

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James Howlette 4 months, 1 week ago

I am happy that more people now have insurance. I'm happy that some of those previously insured people now have much better plans, too. I'm glad we'll never have to worry about pre-existing conditions making us uninsurable. I take comfort in the idea that a less than perfect plan that I didn't ever think or say was the best solution has none the less met its goal, and that the CBO projections say that the numbers will only get better.

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James Howlette 4 months, 1 week ago

It would be helpful if you could actually point to the place from which the goal was allegedly moved. Just making the accusation repeatedly doesn't cut it, no matter how nice Obama's speeches were. It's not goalpost moving to not include CBO projection numbers in your speech. It's not goalpost moving to tell everyone the glass is half full.

It is goalpost moving to state that Obamacare would be a failure if exchange signups were lower than expectations and then to claim that those people must just mostly be previously insured people, look how many uninsured people there still are, I don't think they've paid premiums, we've got to wait and see for many years to see if this is a success, etc, etc, etc.

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James Howlette 4 months, 1 week ago

The goal was to have fewer people uninsured and slow the skyrocketing costs of insurance through market forces. There aren't 0% uninsured in Mass under RomneyCare, and the ACA was based on it. Obama never said everyone would be insured. You're just strawmanning.

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James Howlette 4 months, 1 week ago

It's easy to claim that I didn't meet "my claimed goals" if you strawman those goals. I'm happy that fewer people are uninsured. I didn't have any illusion that this would cover everyone, because it's not a single payer system, which is the only way you'll cover everyone. But I'm not Obama, so let's see what his website said about the goals, shall we?

"ObamaCare's goal is to give more Americans access to affordable, quality health insurance, and to reduce the growth in health care spending in the U.S." I didn't see any part of "more" that meant "all." Did you?

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John Graham 4 months, 1 week ago

Please point out where Obama or any of his ACA supporters explained how ACA would cover slightly more than half of the uninsured. He repeatedly discussed how he was going to get people covered, he never talked about the 31M left out.

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James Howlette 4 months, 1 week ago

Only 31Milllion left out? The CBO projections from 2013 said we'd have 58 Million uninsured. http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/43900-2013-02-ACA.pdf

Maybe the problem is that you don't actually know what goalpost moving means. You see it's not goalpost moving if you promise more people will be insured through a law that you also say is "less than perfect," and more people get insured with a less than perfect law that doesn't insure everyone. At least not if you don't promise you'll insure everyone, which he didn't.

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