Minding Ag's Business

Insurance Terminated? Get a Plan B

Millions of policyholders have been put on notice: Their existing health insurance will be terminated Jan. 1 because they aren't compliant with federal standards under the Affordable Care Act.

As I'll report in DTN's Nov. 1 health care series installment, farm families like Julie and Brian Taylor of Stockbridge, Mich., are among those hunting for something that doesn't double their monthly premiums. For a similar plan, their rates for themselves and their 24-year-old son could jump to $876/mo., up from the $434 they pay now, Blue Cross Blue Shield tells them. The cheapest Silver PPO plan on the Michigan marketplace website would run $862 for a three-adult family plan if the couple earned $80,000. Under $78,000 in income, and tax credits would kick in.

Many terminated plans never covered basics that Big Group plans considered essential, things like trips to the emergency room, hospitalization, rehab coverage, mental health, maternity care or prescription drugs, points out Rhett Buttle, a vice president for Small Business Majority. "It's tough to compare policies of the past with policies of the future, because so many features of these new plans have improved."

However, some consumers opted for them because price and circumstance fit their needs: Kaiser Permanente in California says one big block of those losing coverage were enrolled in a popular $4,000 deductible plan with no maternity benefits, according to Kaiser Health News.

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Why pay for coverage you're not going to use? It's about spreading risk, Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger explains in the Kaiser story. Men don't need maternity care, but women don't need treatment for prostate cancer. Young people don't need artificial hips or treatment for heart attacks that affect their parents and grandparents, but may have more accidents.

Fortunately, small business owners possess advantages that other individuals lack. Small businesses with 50 or fewer employees can buy group plans on their state SHOP and may qualify for tax credits if they do. You can ask your insurance broker to do the heavy lifting for you, although when I talked to Lewiston, Idaho insurance broker Mike MacDowell last week, he hadn't been able to get through his state exchange to compare policy options either. He's giving the website a few more weeks to get fixed before he panics.

In Julie and Brian's case, they may qualify for a Health Reimbursement Plan that' s ideal for proprietors who hire their spouse and have no other employees eligible for coverage. These so called 105 plans have been popular with farm couples because they are a tax deduction for the employer (Brian), but offer tax-free health costs to the employee (Julie), who is reimbursed for the family health expenses. A typical client can save $5,000 a year using the plan, says TASC, a company that administers these plans. Going forward, a farm family would need to weigh those tax savings against the potential for tax credits for insurance purchased inside an exchange.

Health Reimbursement Accounts won't be as generous in 2014 and beyond for larger employers, however. For small business clients with more than one employee, 105s will be limited to reimbursements for ancillary benefits such as dental and vision, says Chris Hesse, a principal in the federal tax resource group at CliftonLarsonAllen.

However, everyone I interviewed agrees the exchanges need to get up and running asap. Farm families and their employees don't just suffer the normal aches and pains of the U.S. population. This year I've already had an Iowa friend fall off a 40-foot grain bin, heard of an 80-year-old Minnesotan die in a combine accident and a New Yorker hit a high-power line with heavy equipment during planting. The agriculture industry takes health insurance reform seriously because farm families need decent coverage and they don't want an employee's tragedy to weigh on their conscience. Share your stories with me at Marcia.Taylor@dtn.com or here for public comment.

For Kaiser Health New's story explaining insurance cancellations, go to http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/…

Follow me on Twitter@MarciaZTaylor


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Sally Benson
11/20/2013 | 5:53 AM CST
Its obvious to the honest that obamacare is not about healthcare but all about government control. See http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/364362/some-dc-exchange-plans-cover-elective-abortion-not-hearing-aids-betsy-woodruff
Don Thompson
11/19/2013 | 8:28 PM CST
"Sally", Medical and mental health insurance coverage is available through the ACA created exchanges. Please take advantage of it. I hope you live in a state progressive enough to not make health care inaccessible for those so obviously in need.
Sally Benson
11/19/2013 | 7:09 PM CST
More reading material for liberals see Obama's Edicts Are Dictatorial, Not Presidential 3 Comments By BETSY MCCAUGHEY Posted 05:59 PM ET Print Comment inShare Betsy McCaughey Betsy McCaughey President Obama says he can "fix" the millions of canceled health insurance plans with an administrative change. He's claiming more executive power â?” power for himself â?” than the Constitution allows, and is playing fast and loose with the truth. The culprit behind the cancellations is not an administrative regulation, as he claims. It's Section 2702 of the Affordable Care Act. It says all plans sold in the individual market or small-group market on Jan. 1, 2014, or later must include the Essential Benefits Package. This means 10 categories of health coverage the Washington "experts" deem essential, such as maternity care even if you're 50 years old. Plans are being canceled because they don't have all 10. Only Congress can dispense with the deadline. Last Friday, the House of Representatives passed a bill to do that.(Insurers and insurance commissioners in several states have said the "fix" is too late to retool by Jan. 1.) Nevertheless, the House bill is a legal attempt to stop the mass cancellations. Amazingly, our arrogant president says he will veto that bill if it reaches his desk because it would allow insurers to sell the noncompliant policies to new customers as well as old. The real reason is that Obama wants to rule by edict. This particular edict could put taxpayers on the hook for a hefty amount. The American Academy of Actuaries warned that the fix is likely to cause healthy people to stick with their old plans, leaving the sickest in the new exchanges. That will clobber exchange insurers. Section 1342 of the law set up a mechanism to bail out insurers that incur losses. It's funded by fees on insurers and employers. The actuaries predicted the pot of money might not be enough. "Costs to the federal government could increase," the group warned. The incorrect part of the actuaries' statement is "costs to the federal government." The federal government has no money. It's our money. Obama often brushes off critics of the health law by saying ObamaCare is "the law of the land." (Except when he wants to patch it up himself.) "It passed the House. Passed the Senate. The Supreme Court ruled it constitutional ... it was the central issue in last year's election. It is settled." That's a claim you could make about the Affordable Care Act. But not about ObamaCare â?” the ad hoc health reform the president is rolling out. Obama himself has stripped the law of key components such as the employer mandate and then padded it with handouts to favored constituencies. On Aug. 9, the president was asked where he gets the authority to make these changes. "In a normal political environment," he replied, "it would have been easier for me to simply call up the Speaker (of the House) and say: 'You know what? This is a tweak that doesn't go to the essence of the law â?” so let's make a technical change in the law.' That would be the normal thing that I would prefer to do." He's suggesting these are not normal times, just because Republicans control the House. Sorry, Mr. President, but divided government â?” with an uncooperative Congress â?” is the norm. Don't be shocked if a renegade insurance company sues to stop the president's most recent fix. Insurers have invested hundreds of millions of dollars creating and marketing health plans that conform to the Affordable Care Act. Lower federal courts already are smacking down the president for his footloose way with the law. Though the Affordable Care Act says only state exchanges can provide subsidies to health plan enrollees, the Obama administration is trying to offer subsidies in all 50 states, rather than just in the 14 states that set up exchanges. The administration has tried to get these lawsuits dismissed, but so far has failed twice. This isn't just about ObamaCare. On Aug. 13, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the president for failing to obey a 2002 statute that required the executive branch to take final action on the certification of Yucca Mountain as a nuclear waste site. Judge Brett Kavanaugh ruled that "under Article II of the Constitution and relevant Supreme Court precedents, the president must follow statutory mandates." In our country, the rule of law is king, not Mr. Obama Read More At Investor's Business Daily: http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials-on-the-right/111913-679823-obama-wants-to-rule-by-edict-ignore-constitution.htm#ixzz2l8y6dFol Follow us: @IBDinvestors on Twitter | InvestorsBusinessDaily on Facebook
Don Thompson
11/19/2013 | 6:05 PM CST
Bonnie, We are still talking about medical care in the USA in this blog. I want to hear your remedy for rapidly rising health care costs and the disparity of services between the haves and have nots in the USA. I really do not care what you think about this administration or your prejudices.
Sally Benson
11/19/2013 | 6:23 AM CST
Say Don how does terrorizing Americans by denying their doctors and hospitals of choice, taking away the policies they were promised they could keep, and continually lying to them constitute health care? At least Nixon had the decency to resign. All Obama has done is create chaos.
Bonnie Dukowitz
11/18/2013 | 8:08 AM CST
Do a little research on the number of executive orders signed by this President and compare to all of the previous before him.
Don Thompson
11/18/2013 | 7:31 AM CST
Bonnie, I believe we have hit a sore spot. The right wing rantings are coming to a fever pitch. I see the "dictator" theme being used by several off the wall naysayers so I must assume that Fox News is using that ploy now. I went to a concert last evening after the tornadoes and talked with some rational red staters who commented that ACA would probably be OK after it is settled. Pretty wild comments from an almost totally reliable red state! There was even the mention of how the detractors were fighting SS and Medicare years after its implementation. Take a deep breath Bonnie and breathe out of your nose, it relieves stress and is recommended by the ACA supporters.
Bonnie Dukowitz
11/15/2013 | 9:49 AM CST
When a RIM, Ram and Rod program is pushed through into law without ,even Nancy Pelosi having the time to read it, the sink hole was started through the neglegence of the promoters, not the opposition. If one would take a look, one would see that terrible Boener begged Congress and Obama for a one year delay for implementation Obamacare. If Obama would have gotten off his high horse and Mr. Ried would stand up and quit hiding in the desert, a legal bi-partisan extension could have materialized. Nope! The little Dictator shall ignore the law and rule. Talk of rocks. It seems only those living in the big glass house are the ones throwing stones. Even the safety glass of the liberal press is shattering.
Gene Tyler
11/15/2013 | 7:37 AM CST
Don do you really think that a dictator thugs like Chavez and Obama can offer anything positive to government? See http://blog.heritage.org/2013/11/14/obamas-cancellation-fix-violating-law-short-term-public-relations-move/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social#.UoYi5XAzQoM
Don Thompson
11/15/2013 | 7:11 AM CST
Bonnie, You have an entire political party and all their allies staging a massive effort to throw rocks in the gears of ACA. Rather unprecedented action from any party. One would expect issues on roll out. Even all this roadblocking does not make the objective less valid than the opponent's ultimate objective to leave the USA with a third rate health care.
Bonnie Dukowitz
11/15/2013 | 5:57 AM CST
Even the Clintons are quivering on Obamacare, Joe Biden is hiding and the agenda driven President is violating the law to cover his massive mistake.
Don Thompson
11/14/2013 | 1:56 PM CST
Bonnie, I am quite aware of the world's health predicament. However, I do not accept your issue that because of it, we Americans should be content with 3rd world health results. US farmers will swear they are the best in the world and we all like to brag how our military can beat their military but our health care for our populace ranks below Cuba and that is just fine. Really? You can do better and you must for the betterment of those that follow you.
Bonnie Dukowitz
11/14/2013 | 11:32 AM CST
Good grief, Take off the blinders,Don. Most of the world has little or no rural health care. Make comparisons from throughout the world as a whole, rather than the cream of crop. If one would look, even the 36 you reference will differ in availability and affordability. If you are someone, no obstacles. I use Kabul only as an example of the worst. Go there and then state how poor our system is.
Don Thompson
11/14/2013 | 8:04 AM CST
Bonnie, First of all, your question about getting health care in Kabul is frivolous. I would venture that every country is broke by someone's definition but only one is the richest country in the world with one the the worst overall health care conditions for a modern nation and that is the USA. My own experience, which you may choose to discount, is that people in the rest of the world are as competent as any American when given equal opportunity. You may not like to hear that and you chosen sources of information may say otherwise but it is my observation. The USA has had a poor history of providing rural doctors during my entire life. I have heard but have not seen the exodus of doctors you refer to. More smoke I guess. I am a strong supporter of the ACA for its attempts to improve our health situation despite outrageous opposition claims. In 5 years, just like Part D, it will be considered the norm. Even you will have to admit there are things in this bill you would not want to give up just in the name of ideology. No reason to be afraid of change or people that are different.
Bonnie Dukowitz
11/14/2013 | 5:53 AM CST
You can sure twist things with-in the small tunnel you peer through, Don. My question was, Would you be comfortable getting health care in Kabul?? Many of those nations with socialized medicine of the 36 you refer are also broke unless they are blessed with sellable natural resources to fund it. I am trying to express that there is a lot more involved than the Obamacare fiasco itself. PA's and other medical certificates earned outside the USA (some Central American country's)for example, have much less criteria to get a degree, but under such things as NAFTA are licensed to practice here through contract language. DR's are quiting working with ins. at an alarming rate and going into a cash only type practice. Much cheaper for many of us to pay cash for non-major medical, than the higher deductables with Obamacare. There is more to it than what the super salesman has sold the gullible.
Don Thompson
11/13/2013 | 6:59 AM CST
Bonnie, What ARE you talking about? No one has proposed a 50% tax or healthcare in Kabul. The US ranks 37th in the world in total health care quality per dollar equivalent spent. Maybe we should seek improvement?! The ACA mandates a minimum amount coverage provisions with everyone in the pool. The program services are ran and organized by the same private insurance firms and health providers we have now. What is wrong with PA's? That is what we saw all the time in the military and I still do. Bring them on. Doctors who claim they are going to quit are blowing smoke. What are they going to do - go to Kabul, work in an auto factory? I guess they could go to Costa Rico. Good health careers down there with lots of American retirees.
Bonnie Dukowitz
11/13/2013 | 6:34 AM CST
Read your own entree's Don. Would you be comfortable with the Health Care in Kabul? Do lower income people have the same H.C. access in Eastern Europe or the former Soviet Union? The Scandinavian Nations have North Sea crude oil as revenue, yet have tax rates over 50%, kicking in at low income levels. I prefer my local Drs., if they do not quit with this fiasco or if Uncle Obama don't assign me Physicians Assisstant from somewhere like Central America.
Don Thompson
11/12/2013 | 12:02 PM CST
Bonnie, You are getting way off the subject with your name calling and attempts at insults. We were talking about health care in the USA and options around the world. Any constructive input from you on that subject? By the way, I am quite comfortable with my experiences in the work force, education, and contributions to society. Thank You.
Bonnie Dukowitz
11/11/2013 | 7:05 PM CST
Not the turnip truck, Don. Can you not read. Pumkin truck, potatoe truck or pickle truck. Bale wagon, rock wagon. Worked on all of them. Did you?
Alvin Obert
11/9/2013 | 6:58 PM CST
Don you really should have your health checked out in Venezuela since you are so fond of government health care! See http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/110813-678654-venezuela-health-care-collapsing-not-unlike-obamacare.htm?p=2
Bonnie Dukowitz
11/9/2013 | 8:37 AM CST
Good grief! Another, non-food producer with just an opinion, reached with tunnel vision.
Don Thompson
11/8/2013 | 4:28 PM CST
Actually Bonnie, you did fall off the turnip truck some time ago it appears. Just because you are inclined to not believe a fact does not make the fact any less authentic. Did you research any of this before you came to your opinion? Why not?
Bonnie Dukowitz
11/8/2013 | 1:00 PM CST
Please share Don, first hand experience, not knowledge through aquantance. Do you run to a Doctor in Kabul for health care? I can certainly share 2nd. hand information obtained from quite a few individuals with experience. Most have not had good experiences, other than those with cash! I did not fall off the pumpkin truck yesterday.
Don Thompson
11/8/2013 | 11:18 AM CST
Bonnie, Yes I do have knowledge of these situations, some through people I know as providers and others who were involved as customers. These were generally people who I met through my work in the travel industry. Google "Health Tourism" and please let me know what you find.
Pedro Sanchez
11/8/2013 | 9:11 AM CST
Curt, Tort reform would help, but that is not that big of a piece of the puzzle. Why don't you actually look up facts instead of spewing hersay. This is from the CBO: The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that implementing a typical package of tort reform proposals nationwide would reduce total U.S. healthcare spending by about 0.5 percent, or about $11 billion in 2009. http://www.hfma.org/Content.aspx?id=8697 That seems like a drop of water in a big bucket. Will tort reform help, yes, but it won't make that big of a difference. What you all seem to be forgetting is that before the ACA was ever implemented or considered, health care costs were bankrupting everyday Americans and our country through Medicaid and Medicare. If you are too ignorant to acknowledge that you need a reality check in the worst way. A health emergency can happen in the blink of an eye and no one, no matter who they are, are safe. Accidents happen all the time, cancer doesn't care who you are. Stuff happens. What the Democrats decided to finally do was try and get the runaway train of rising healthcare costs under control. Like I said before, I don't know if the ACA will do that, but the principle behind the program is the way to do it. Richard Nixon first proposed this type of insurance exchange back in the late 60's/early 70's (I believe) as a way to counter the Democrats single payer concept. The GOP in Massachusetts implemented this similar concept in their state. So now that the Democrats have said let's try it your way, the GOP says no, we don't want no government involvement. Well folks the PRIVATE INDUSTRY FAILED US MISERABLY!!!! Now the USA has told the PRIVATE INSURERS, this is a minimum level of care we expect you to provide. In order for you to do this, we acknowledge you need "healthy" people in your system to make it work. Therefore, we will mandate that everyone has it, so you can still make your actuarials work. This is how insurance in the auto/home industry works people. It is not rocket science. Turn off the conservative drones for a bit, take a step back and realize what we have doesn't work for the vast majority of the country, and this is the best, least government intrusive (yes I said it) way to get it done short of making the whole system a single payer system like Medicaid, Medicare, Tricare (that's the military system folks).
Bonnie Dukowitz
11/8/2013 | 7:21 AM CST
Do you have actual experience Don. Please share the details. I am not interested in an opinion from what you have read or what you think on this topic. Real comparisons.
11/7/2013 | 8:26 PM CST
Why can't the low income worker enjoy the largesse of the government just like row crop farmers?
Alvin Obert
11/7/2013 | 3:24 PM CST
You are like Obama Don - the truth is opposite of what you say.
Don Thompson
11/7/2013 | 7:58 AM CST
Alvin, I have the facts and that appears to leave you bitter and confused. The ACA is not government in control. Third world nations can offer quality health care at much cheaper costs. That is the point. Other healthcare programs by foreign governments are not "always" a failure as you suggest. The USA lack of a program is recognized as the most obvious failure. You do not see any country following our lead. We had no overall healthcare policy in this country prior to ACA, just it like it was in the Stone Age. You seem comfortable with that.
Don Thompson
11/7/2013 | 6:47 AM CST
Equivalent care for much cheaper costs, Bonnie.
Alvin Obert
11/7/2013 | 6:46 AM CST
With libs like you Don facts and evidence do not matter. For some unknown reason libs jump to the conclusion that government in control will offer better quality health care and lower health care cost. See http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/2371/chavez-socialist-health-care and http://articles.latimes.com/2008/apr/08/world/fg-healthcare8 Government healthcare is a failure every time it is tried, but that does not deter libs from destroying healthcare.
Bonnie Dukowitz
11/6/2013 | 8:19 PM CST
From what I read, St. Mary's Hospital( a Catholic Hospital) in Rochester, Mn. gets patients from all over the world. I have not read of people from Rochester, Mn. going elsewhere for better care.
Don Thompson
11/6/2013 | 2:15 PM CST
Alvin, Did you use to blog as John Olsen and a long list of other identities? I see no discussion of the issue, just wild eyed name calling. And yes, I like the ACA even with the short comings of the initial web site. It is about time we addressed a pressing issue rather than the continuous fight over ideology that leaves the problem to fester as we weaken ourselves again in a fast paced world.
Alvin Obert
11/6/2013 | 9:45 AM CST
More evidence of liberal incompetence - See http://www.forbes.com/sites/thomasdelbeccaro/2013/11/06/our-cash-for-obamas-clunkers/
Alvin Obert
11/6/2013 | 9:02 AM CST
Of utmost importance to reducing health care costs is not to elect anyone from the most morally bankrupt party, the party of supporting unborn baby killers, the party of liars, and from the party that run Detroit in the ground. See http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/11/terry-mcauliffe-governor-virginia Solutions do not flow from corruption in power. With you Don we have to start with the basics.
Don Thompson
11/6/2013 | 7:10 AM CST
The USA spends double for health care with often lesser results than any comparable industrialized nation. Our infant mortality rate ranks with third world nations. Complex medical procedures are routinely completed daily on Americans by American trained doctors in lesser developed economies for a cost less than the insurance copay if performed stateside. George Washington spoke of a national health care policy in his term. Rural America was losing healthcare access before our current president was born. The conservative faction of our population has opposed a national health policy for 237 years and will continue until the demise of this country despite factual evidence. And on these pages, we see the same old hysterical comments showing an absolute denial of the need to step in to the future. If you deny even the basics of human need, how are you to be trusted in your handling of the nation's food supply and treatment of the environment? As usual, there are no comments to improve health care, only the rural traditional need to tear something or someone down. I ask for accurate comments that address US health needs, not another example of your personal and collective prejudices. Please help.
Curt Zingula
11/5/2013 | 6:48 AM CST
Thanks Sally for the easy to understand analysis! Turning the best health care in the world over to the worst management institution in world (government) is utter stupidity. I wish Pedro could understand that things like tort reform would more likely achieve his goal of cheaper health care than this government attempt to manage 1/6 of the economy it has no clue about. My daughter is an optometrist and tells me that the ACA will cap what she charges for an eye exam. Sounds like a big savings for you and me until we realize that many, if not most, doctors will figure out that they can get around this by scheduling more patients per day and spending less time with each patient. More followups, whether you need them or not, will fill the schedule. My daughter is also expected to spend considerably more time expanding the personal data files for ACA even though this information has nothing to do with eye care. In light of NSA and IRS scandals, this fact should concern us!! Perhaps Marcia could research the government's explanation for demanding so much of our personal information?
Bonnie Dukowitz
11/1/2013 | 7:57 PM CDT
Ya Know! Sum day I figur I"m a gonna Die. If the ailment aint gunna kill me, the Obummer pill will.
Alvin Obert
11/1/2013 | 12:31 PM CDT
And now we know democrats are responsible for insurance cancellations. See Senate Democrats supported rule that led to insurance cancellations Posted by CNN Investigative Correspondent Chris Frates Washington (CNN) - Senate Democrats voted unanimously three years ago to support the Obamacare rule that is largely responsible for some of the health insurance cancellation letters that are going out. In September 2010, Senate Republicans brought a resolution to the floor to block implementation of the grandfather rule, warning that it would result in canceled policies and violate President Barack Obama�s promise that people could keep their insurance if they liked it. �The District of Columbia is an island surrounded by reality. Only in the District of Columbia could you get away with telling the people if you like what you have you can keep it, and then pass regulations six months later that do just the opposite and figure that people are going to ignore it. But common sense is eventually going to prevail in this town and common sense is going to have to prevail on this piece of legislation as well,� Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley said at the time. �The administration's own regulations prove this is not the case. Under the grandfathering regulation, according to the White House's own economic impact analysis, as many as 69 percent of businesses will lose their grandfathered status by 2013 and be forced to buy government-approved plans,� the Iowa Republican said. On a party line vote, Democrats killed the resolution, which could come back to haunt vulnerable Democrats up for re-election this year. Senate Democrats like Mary Landrieu, Jeanne Shaheen, Mark Pryor, Kay Hagan and Mark Begich � all of whom voted against stopping the rule from going into effect and have since supported delaying parts of Obamacare. The rule set up the criteria for what insurance plans would be grandfathered, or exempted, from the new Obamacare requirements. Democrats argued then that the rule was necessary to insure that insurance companies weren�t able to drastically change their plans and still remain exempt from Obamacare. Republicans are �saying that basically we will grandfather it in, but the insurance companies can change it however they want, and you are stuck with it,� Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa said in 2010. The rule essentially prevents insurance companies from keeping their grandfathered status if they make changes to their plans. In practice, insurance companies are loath to leave their plans unchanged so grandfathered plans are disappearing, and people are being forced to change their plans to meet Obamacare�s more robust coverage requirements.
Sally Benson
11/1/2013 | 12:19 PM CDT
To think that liberals spending trillions insanely is going to solve health care cost inflation is preposterous. You would think that trillion dollar government deficits and endless trillions in debt would alert at least a few people that mindless government spending does not drive down costs.
Wesley Kuster
11/1/2013 | 10:29 AM CDT
November 1, 2013 Stick a Fork in Obama By William L. Gensert We are only three and a quarter years away from transforming the United States of America. We may never get back to where we once were, but we can sure roll back much of the mess Barack Obama has created through his misguided policies and serial incompetence. With ObamaCare's ascendancy and impending crash, America will be on the cusp of transformational action. The misery the ACA will bring to almost every American cannot be overestimated in its ability to incite anger -- and, anger has consequences and repercussions. The failure of the ACA has the potential to make 2014 a wave election for Republicans. In 2016, we may see a true conservative as president. America put men on the moon. Now, with 3 ½ years and a half a billion dollars, we can't even build a website. This is how much Barry and his ilk have degraded the brand. We used to be the shining light on the hill. Now, we are darkness at the end of the tunnel. Barack Obama has been the worst thing that has ever happened to the Oval Office, and in the end, ObamaCare will seal his fate as a failed president. Three and on half years ago, who would have thought that the most emblematic part of the Affordable Care Act, would be the website? Yet, they already have more than a half a billion dollars in for something that doesn't work at all. Just imagine how much they will spend to fix it. Healthcare.gov, when fixed, will probably have cost the nation's taxpayers upwards of a billion dollars That's the thing about Barry, before his election, the national conversation about budgets and deficits was always about "billions of dollars." Since January of 2009, it's all about "trillions of dollars." Now we are talking about websites in the "billions of dollars" category. That's Barry, always breaking new ground. Yet, it is not over. America is holding all the cards. Republicans have always had a tendency of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, but it's looking fairly safe they will play this one right. The path forward, almost always begins by going in the wrong direction. There would have been no Ronald Reagan without Jimmy Carter. The Republicans need to find a new Reagan. Like the "Gipper," he will have to be a fighter and the gloves will have to come off, because ObamaCare has given Republicans the best opportunity to halt the progressive onslaught in a generation. America, at last, will be listening. Ronald Reagan gave us 25 years of prosperity and freedom. It's high time we fight to get that back. Before the last election, I told friends that if Barack Obama won reelection, his second term would destroy the Democratic Party and progressivism for a generation. By the end of his reign, Americans are going to be so tired and soured on Obama, his anointed successor will not stand a chance of becoming the nation's next president. Barack Obama has become a leader who does not matter -- the stimulus was all Pelosi and ObamaCare was Pelosi and Harry Reid, et al. What idea was ever his? Can he point to one thing where he was deeply involved? He has been our golfing president. He is so incompetent and uninvolved that it is believable that he did not know the problems with healthcare.gov, the integral component of ObamaCare, a program he proudly put his name to. Well...after the IRS targeting of political opponents, the NSA spying on everyone -- including the tapping of the German Chancellor's cell phone, the Fast and Furious dead, Solyndra and all the other crony capitalist backroom deals, the Pigford payouts, his $6 trillion addition to the national debt, the 13.6% U6 unemployment rate, the increase in food stamp and disability rolls, the Benghazi dead and the cover-up, the Syria embarrassment, the racial divisiveness, the doubling of the price of gasoline, and now, Healthcare.gov, people are starting to realize a thing or two about Mr. Hope and Change. If you think people hate the website, wait until they get a load of ObamaCare itself. If I did not have such a visceral dislike for the man, I would almost feel sorry for him...it's going to be a long three plus years for Barack Obama. Daniel Henninger in the Wall Street Journal writes: "Barack Obama may have spent a lifetime failing up, but eventually it's just failure. He has presided over five years of sickly economic growth, inadequate job creation, a doubling of the food stamp population and now this -- ObamaCare." The Obama presidency is dead -- killed by Obama himself in a fit of vanity and hubris. With it, goes the entire progressive movement. It won't be long before people begin to understand what ObamaCare will cost them and how it will affect their healthcare. Avik Roy in Forbes Magazine estimates 93 million people will lose their current coverage. It is altogether possible there will be more people uninsured in 2014 than there were uninsured in 2009 when the ACA passed on a purely partisan vote, promising universal coverage. With every cancellation letter received, an angry American will remember Obama telling the nation repeatedly: "[I]f you like your insurance plan, you will keep it." Republicans, having made a futile stand in attempting to defund ObamaCare, have immunity. Barack owns this baby. They can spend most of the next year in the run-up to the midterm elections picking apart ObamaCare with impunity -- control of the Senate is within their grasp. The shutdown of our government, while seemingly detrimental to Republicans in the short run, will be a blessing going forward. The MSM did conservatives a favor by making sure every American knew that the Republicans shut down the government in an attempt to defund ObamaCare. As the ACA touches the lives of every American and the anger builds, they will remember who tried to stop it. The nail in the coffin of progressivism is ObamaCare. After all, it is a law that penalizes almost everyone, while simultaneously ruining the nation's healthcare system. So staggering will its failure be, and its failure is inevitable, Hillary Clinton may be forced to run in 2016 as a small-government conservative. Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/11/stick_a_fork_in_obama.html#ixzz2jPN2atTV Follow us: @AmericanThinker on Twitter | AmericanThinker on Facebook
Pedro Sanchez
11/1/2013 | 8:34 AM CDT
If the government cannot force you into health insurance, such as the ACA, then how can it force you to buy auto insurance? However, I think the nation as a whole needs a reality wake up call. Our health industry in this country was bankrupting America day by day. When is the last time your insurance premiums actually went down? I cannot remember myself. To blame the ACA for the total cost of rising premiums is a weak argument. Sure, it may have contributed to it, but I can guarantee that rates were going up. One medical issue for the uninsured would possibly bankrupt them. I just had a baby and even with my "insurance" it is still going to cost me just over $5000 out of pocket. The total bill for a routine, no problem, in and out delivery (actual delivery took 5 minutes, was in labor for about 3 hours) was just under $14,000. That is outrageous, and the majority of Americans could not afford to pay that bill without insurance, and many people have to put their deductible on payment plans anyways. A simple ER visit will likely run you between $500 to $1000 before they actually do anything. The point I am trying to make is that our current system is broken. Health care costs are on a runaway train from the general economy, with no end in sight. The government needed to do something as our population is aging and that is when the majority of healthcare costs are incurred. As of now, the ACA isn't working too smoothly, but I suggest we give it some time. The alternative is doing nothing, and that is not working.
Bonnie Dukowitz
11/1/2013 | 6:51 AM CDT
All government, especially government insurance, should be reduced in size rather than be increased to a level where, even Obamma can not buffalo the American people.
Wesley Kuster
10/31/2013 | 8:58 PM CDT
Industrial Policy: Four years ago, the insurance industry decided to get in bed with President Obama to help him get his health reform passed. But as soon as things started to go wrong, guess who Obama blamed? Soon after President Obama won the 2008 election, the big insurance industry lobby laid down its arms. Instead of fighting a government takeover of health care as it did in 1994 â?” it announced it would partner up. "Universal coverage is within reach," said Karen Ignagni, head of the America's Health Insurance Plans trade group. And just as the president signed Obama-Care into law, AHIP teamed up with a big liberal health reform lobby, Families USA, to form Enroll America and "make reform work." But whatever goodwill the industry hoped to gain by this was short-lived. Once ObamaCare's inherent flaws started to surface, Obama and his liberal chorus immediately pointed their fingers at evil insurers. In a speech in Boston on Wednesday, for example, Obama said that people "are getting notices from their insurance companies suggesting that somehow, because of the Affordable Care Act, they may be losing their existing health insurance plan." Not so, Obama insisted. The blame rests instead with "bad apple" insurers who'd been offering "cut rate plans" or had decided to "downgrade or cancel" their "substandard" policies. Obama press secretary Jay Carney kept at it, saying "the insurer is making the decision to basically cancel the plan and reissue or offer the individual a new plan with different benefits or different costs. So the insurer makes that call." Never mind that Obama's own regulators designed the rules explicitly to force millions to lose their plans, even as Obama promised this would never happen. At the same time, the administration is reportedly pressuring the insurance industry to keep its mouth shut about any complaints it has with ObamaCare. Industry consultant Bob Laszewski told CNN: "The White House is exerting massive pressure on the industry, including the trade associations, to keep quiet." This is just the beginning. As soon as costs start to spike because of ObamaCare's regulations, who do you think will get the blame? And when the young refuse to sign up, creating a premium death spiral, or shortages of doctors inevitably emerge, or job growth stalls out, does anyone think Democrats will accuse ObamaCare? What will follow instead will be a rising chorus for still more price controls, more rules, more regulations and more central planning. The left is already using these failures to argue for a single-payer system. After the ObamaCare launch disaster, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman pined for "a much simpler system in which the government just pays your major medical expenses." We're tempted to say the insurance industry is getting its just desserts. Except it's not just them â?” we're all going to pay the price for the ObamaCare disaster. Meanwhile, let this be a lesson to corporate execs who think they can win by selling out to the government. Read More At Investor's Business Daily: http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials-obama-care/103113-677543-obama-blames-insurance-industry-for-obamacare-failures.htm#ixzz2jM4gZtQ5 Follow us: @IBDinvestors on Twitter | InvestorsBusinessDaily on Facebook
Wesley Kuster
10/31/2013 | 8:41 PM CDT
ObamaCare Is Not Settled Law â?” It's Still In Court 4 Comments Posted 07:00 PM ET Email Print License Comment inShare Affordable Care Act: When a few Republicans used the shutdown to try to tie up ObamaCare, its supporters said it was settled law, get over it, deal with it, move on. But it's not. It's merely a statute and courts are still looking at it. The individual mandate provision of ObamaCare is the pivotal piece that many thought would fail the constitutional test. But the Supreme Court said the mandate is a tax and therefore falls within constitutional limits. The ensuing re-election of President Obama further emboldened ObamaCare supporters, who, after the election, said it was a referendum on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. But no law is settled in our system â?” the Constitution itself can be changed through a constitutional process â?” and that includes ObamaCare. Even as Washington debates delaying implementation of the individual mandate for a year, a U.S. district court has refused to dismiss a legal challenge to the Democrats' reform. This is not some petty complaint but a sober legal issue that "has the potential to sink ObamaCare," Cato Institute health policy analyst Michael Cannon said this week in the Los Angeles Times. "It could make the current website problems seem minor by comparison," he said. George Mason Law School professor Michael Greve believes that the legal challenge is so serious that "all of ObamaCare hangs on the outcome" of the case. In the suit, Halbig v. Sebelius, private employers and individual taxpayers argue that the IRS does not have the authority to hand out hundreds of billions of dollars in subsidies to health insurance companies in the 36 states that have not set up health insurance exchanges, nor does it have the power to penalize individual taxpayers and employers in those states. The plaintiffs' point: The language of the law does not allow the subsidies â?” issued through the tax credit system â?” to be used in the federally run exchanges in those 36 states. A similar complaint, King v. Sebelius, is working its way through the federal court in Richmond. This case also has the potential to halt ObamaCare. Clearly, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is not settled law, even as Americans try â?” and continue to fail â?” to sign up. There is hope the country can still escape from its miserable clutches. We can be rid of this legislated nuisance if the courts do their job. Read More At Investor's Business Daily: http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials-obama-care/103113-677561-obamacare-is-not-settled-law.htm#ixzz2jM0CiECh Follow us: @IBDinvestors on Twitter | InvestorsBusinessDaily on Facebook