An update on Obamacare Facts: Obamacare implementation in Georgia is, well...not going very smoothly...
According to a poll released Sept. 23 by Healthcare Georgia Foundation, only 39% of Georgians approve of the law, whereas 42% do not.
[Although, no matter what the majority wants, enrollment in health insurance exchanges is slated to begin in just a few days on Oct. 1.]
But the panic really set in for Georgians a few weeks back, when Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens announced in a press release that potential rate hikes up to 198% could be seen due to Obamacare.
"Georgia insurance companies are demanding massive rate increases up to 198 percent for some individuals," Hudgens stated on July 30.
He then pointed out the rate increase is contradictory to U.S. President Barack Obama's promise to Americans that "...Obamacare would lower rates."
In the same press release, Hudgens announced he requested an emergency 30-day delay in the filing deadline for Obamacare rates with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to allow Department staff additional time to analyze the rate increases.
"I was always skeptical of Obamacare," Hudgens said. "... But I never imagined that it would lead to rates being doubled or tripled... Increases of this magnitude will make coverage less affordable and increase the number of uninsured in Georgia."
It also didn't help Georgians when Emory Healthcare - the largest and most comprehensive health system in Georgia - submitted a letter Sept. 9 to local television station WSB-TV announcing some restructuring on account of Obamacare.
Namely, it's laying off 101 people, effective Nov. 15.
WSB-TV interviewed an Emory employee, who stated, "The saddest part is when during the announcement we were told our job loss is due to the new Affordable Care Act."
Indeed, Emory spokesperson Vincent Dollard confirmed that both a struggling economy and Obamacare were factors in the layoffs.
How Georgians Really Feel About Obamacare Facts
The Healthcare Foundation Georgia poll that was released Monday did show some Georgian support of certain provisions of Obamacare. Namely, two-thirds are for preventing health insurers from denying people coverage due to preexisting conditions, which is a provision under the law.
But on the other hand, the poll indicates that almost half of Georgians "strongly disapprove" of the Obamacare requirement that Americans must obtain health insurance or be faced with a penalty.
It also shows that 94% view their current coverage as at least "good" or "adequate." It seems that Georgians overwhelmingly do not wish to alter their health plans.
Of course, the uninsured are the ones who stand to gain the most from Obamacare...
Unfortunately, the poll additionally shows the "uninsured are the ones who know the least about it," according to Gary Nelson, president of Healthcare Foundation Georgia. The numbers reflect that 27% of Georgians say they are unfamiliar with the facts about Obamacare (compared with 7% of people polled nationally).
This lack of familiarity and general confusion about the law seems commonplace, and it's no wonder. For instance, take a look at the following chart created by healthcare consulting company Leavitt Partners. It was intended to help states build online healthcare exchanges:
Yes, this chart was intended to simplify the process...
So the confusion and doubt surrounding our mandated healthcare law remains pervasive.
Meanwhile on Capitol Hill, our lawmakers have entrenched themselves in a no-win contest, trying to leverage a potential government shutdown with defunding healthcare legislation.
This congressional grandstanding will likely result in slapping the economy with both a government shutdown and Obamacare.
Still, there is a bright side - even if we can't control what happens in Washington, we can control how we handle Obamacare hitting our wallets.
In addition to preparing for healthcare changes, we've found a way to make money from the shift in our nation's healthcare process. Profits could be as high as... [You can get the details here.]
- Money Morning:
Obamacare Facts: Support Slips to 39%; Defund Talk Gets Louder
- Money Morning:
Obamacare Info: Your Questions Answered
- The Weekly Standard:
Ga. Insurance Commissioner: Obamacare to Force 'Massive Rate Increases Up to 198 percent'