How Obamacare Will Affect Medicare
We've talked about how Obamacare will affect our regular health insurers and routine doctor visits, but how about how Obamacare will affect Medicare?
We've all known for a while that the future of Medicare, the program than provides health insurance to seniors, is in dire straits. What we're just finding out is that Obamacare is making it worse.
The White House's decision earlier this month to postpone part of U.S. President Barack Obama's signature healthcare reform (the employer mandate that will fine businesses that don't offer employees insurance) underscores how flawed the bill is and how unprepared we are for its full roll-out.
Fight Club: Is Healthcare (aka Obamacare) a Right?
The always vocal, usually incorrect and always extremely left Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Leerecently said:
"Healthcare is a right! It should be in the Constitution. Although it was not listed per se in the Constitution, it should be!"
Many who support Obamacare think socialized medicine is a right.
I tuned in to a national television show to see how she would defend her silly dribble, not surprisingly she was a no show!
My short answer to her and my opponent this week: "What a load of crap!I don't believe anything tangible can be a right." And neither should you!
Healthcare is a tangible item, like a house, a car or a wide screen TV.
Just to clear up any doubt: You are invited to read my cliff notes on the Constitution below but it would be better if you took the time to read them in their entirety.
It had been awhile since I read the Bill of Rights, I had forgotten how rich with human spirit they are!
Why the Obamacare Law Can't Stop Soaring Healthcare Costs
One of the many promises of the Obamacare law was that it would help reduce out-of-control healthcare costs.
But as we get closer to the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act in January 2014, it's becoming increasingly clear that the law will do little to lower what healthcare providers charge.
Basically, the Obamacare law focuses mostly on who will pay and how they pay - the insurance side of the equation - rather than why costs are so high and rise much faster than the overall inflation rate.
Journalist Steven Brill, who wrote an exhaustive piece on this topic for the March issue of Time magazine, was blunt as he broke the bad news personally last week to the Senate Finance Committee at a hearing to determine if adding transparency to the pricing of healthcare services could help control costs.
"[Transparency] starts the conversation about prices that we didn't have in the debate over Obamacare. It's only a start," Brill said. "Obamacare does nothing about these prices. Nothing to solve the problem - Zero."
These Obamacare Facts Have Our Readers Rattled – Where Do You Stand?
For many of our readers, learning the real "Obamacare facts" that the president doesn't want us to know has been stressful enough to warrant a doctor visit - one that costs you more than it used to (almost like an Obamacare Catch-22...)
The scary thing is, we still have no idea what the full impact of the new healthcare law will be.
Indeed, back in March 2010, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi famously said we had to pass the bill to find out what's in it.
Three years later, even those in charge of implementing Obamacare don't know exactly what's in the law, and how it will, or won't, work.
What we do know so far: Just months until the bill takes fully kicks-in, scores of Americans believe the controversial healthcare reform is a travesty and destined to fall.
Nearly Half of Americans Say Obamacare is a Bad Idea
Obamacare critics have maintained from day one the president's signature healthcare bill is disastrous and doomed to fail.
Now with just months until the bill takes full effect, more and more Americans are beginning to think the same thing.
According to recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, support for the Affordable Care Act is slipping.
The fresh poll shows 49% of Americans say President Barack Obama's health care reform bill is a bad idea. That's the highest percentage since the poll began measuring backing and opposition for the reform in 2009. Only 37% say the plan is a good idea.
The numbers reflect a sharp increase in disapproval since July 2012 following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to uphold President Obama's healthcare overhaul. At that time, 44% of survey respondents called it a bad idea vs. 40% who called it a good one.
The latest poll also revealed 38% of participants said they and their families will be in worse shape under the new health care law, the highest negative outlook percentage toward Obamacare since it was signed into law in 2010.
Now just 19% say they will be better off while 39% say the law won't make much difference.
Meet the Controversial "Bad Actor" Who Will be in Charge of Your Health Care
Amid a wash of government scandals, America is vulnerable right now. Actions taken by the IRS have left us feeling utterly degraded by the Obama administration.
And another Washington scandal we see brewing won't make Americans feel any more comfortable about the power granted in our nation's capital.
You see, there's an unelected official who is known as a bad actor, and she's about to be granted broad, undefined power over the people of this country.
The source of her power: Obamacare.
I'm talking about the U.S. Secretary of Health & Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, who come 2014 could be in charge of your health care.
California Just Gave Us a Glimpse of How Obamacare Will Fail
Turns out no one knows how Obamacare will work - not even the big-name insurers.
And now, we're starting to see the effects of uncertainty.
Today (Thursday), the Los Angeles Times reported that United Health, Aetna, and Cigna have opted out of the California insurance exchange.
UnitedHealth has adopted a wait-and-see policy: "We are simply taking the time to carefully evaluate and better understand how the exchanges will work to ensure we are best prepared to participate meaningfully in their development," explains a spokesman to the LA Times.
Cigna resolved to participate in exchanges in only half of the 10 states where it sells individual health policies, and California didn't make the cut.
Aetna referred LA Times' questions to Covered California, the state agency in charge of implementing Obamacare.
That means millions of Californians who will have to choose health insurance from exchanges or face a penalty will not be able to pick plans from those three big insurers - signaling limited options ahead thanks to Obamacare.
UnitedHealth, Aetna, and Cigna's response to the California exchange is just the beginning.
These three companies are but the first dominoes to fall to Obamacare's less-than-clear implementation.
How the Sequester is Killing Healthcare Jobs
Sequester-driven budget cuts to Medicare are threatening to spur massive job cuts in the healthcare industry.
And the pain doesn't stop there - the sequester cuts are already making healthcare harder to obtain for some Medicare patients.
Unfortunately, this is just the beginning. The longer Congress allows sequestration to continue, the deeper the cuts will go and the more widespread their impact.
When President Barack Obama and Congress failed to reach agreement on $1.2 trillion in cuts to federal spending before March 30 -- as mandated by the Budget Control Act of 2011 -- the sequester kicked in.
Medicare providers faced mandatory 2% across-the-board reductions in their reimbursements.
After the cuts went into effect on April 1, hospitals, doctors, insurers, prescription drug plans, and other healthcare providers immediately felt the impact.
In short, the sequester is delivering precisely the kind of broad, damaging and indiscriminate cuts that politicians warned would happen.
And as each day passes, the drastic consequences grow worse.
Healthcare Costs: Same Procedure is $7,000 Here and $100,000 There
When it comes to healthcare costs, Americans have been left in the dark.
Unlike when booking a hotel or buying a new flat-screen TV, Americans haven't had easy access to cost-comparison measures when deciding where to have their medical procedures done.
Turns out, if we had, some of us could have saved tens of thousands of dollars...