When do we get to the ‘affordable’ part of ObamaCare?

i·ro·ny (noun)  The expression of one’s meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect.

I guess that is why it is called the Affordable Care Act, right?
Today the Las Vegas newspaper reports the ”

Affordable” Care Act will cost Clark County’s charity hospital, University Medical Center, $52 million over the next six years because it cuts federal funding and still doesn’t cover illegal immigrants.

A UMC executive told county commissioners Tuesday the hospital expects the uninsured to drop from 21 percent to 10 when ObamaCare is completely rolled out next year, adding revenue for the hospital, but will be offset by an increase in Medicaid patients, since the governor recently agreed to expand Medicaid coverage to those earning 138 percent of the poverty level, about 78,000 state residents. Medicaid seldom covers actual cost of care, thus a loss. Who will have to pay for that, Gov. Sandoval?

To add insult to injury, The New York Times reported over the weekend that health insurers across the country are seeking rate hikes. Might this be because they are already being required to cover dependents up to age 26 and provide preventative coverage at no out-of-pocket cost? Imagine what it will be when the rest of the Act kicks in.

“In California, Aetna is proposing rate increases of as much as 22 percent, Anthem Blue Cross 26 percent and Blue Shield of California 20 percent for some of those policy holders, according to the insurers’ filings with the state for 2013 …” the Times reports. “In other states, like Florida and Ohio, insurers have been able to raise rates by at least 20 percent for some policy holders. The rate increases can amount to several hundred dollars a month.”

Nevada is not left out. Aetna is seeking double-digit rate hikes here, too, according to a government website, and two other companies are asking for 24 percent hikes. Some hikes are already in effect.

Meanwhile, The Hill is reporting that some of Obama’s most loyal constituents, those aged 21 to 29, could see health insurance rate hikes of as much as 42 percent because of the law’s restrictions against pricing according to age.

Affordable? Now that is the definition of irony.


39 comments on “When do we get to the ‘affordable’ part of ObamaCare?

  1. nyp10025 says:

    So more people will have health coverage either through private insurance or Medicaid. The charity hospital will make money from the new patients who have private insurance, but that may well be offset by losses it will incur on patients who are now on Medicaid, which is very stingy on cost reimbursements.

    And many more Nevada citizens will finally have access to decent medical care when they get sick.

    How terrible.

  2. And how expensive, Petey.


  3. Steve says:

    Access to shrinking medical services. Did you not see the layoff announced at St. Rose?

  4. nyp10025 says:

    Not more expensive. Since ObamaCare was implemented, healthcare costs have grown at the slowest rate in decades. In fact, the first time, they grew less than the rest of the economy. That is huge.

  5. brucefeher says:

    Hey Tom, we don’t get it, they get it, we pay for it!

  6. That’s how it works, Bruce.

  7. nyp10025 says:

    “They” means people like “Athos,” He had to declare bankruptcy because he didn’t have health insurance to cover his medical bills. Let the cost to you and me.

    Of course, “they” also means people considerably more responsible than Athos. Like a guy who loses his job and then his employer-covered health insurance. Or a woman with a pre-existing condition.

  8. bc says:

    npy, do you really think that this will reduce the cost of medical care? Will my company’s cost go down in time? If medical costs are going up slower than the rest of the economy, why am I reading of 20% increases in insurance costs?

  9. nyp10025 says:

    Dunno. The projections are that the various cost-savings ideas in ObamaCare will reduce costs. Some of them are “Republican” ideas. Others are “Democratic” ideas. The idea is to see which ones actually work in the real world, and then scale them up.
    As for reports on insurance costs, I wouldn’t go by anecdotal stories. Some companies are trying to get their rates in under the wire. And most of those stories are about the individual plan market. As younger people start buying mandatory insurance the costs should go down for we decrepit older follks.

  10. brucefeher says:

    Swing by UMC folks. Lots of people there not paying a dime, some are even Americans.

  11. Athos says:

    Still using the mistakes of a 20 year old to justify your failed socialist policies, petey? What a paragon of slime you represent.

    But never let the truth of failed socialist policies interrupt your dream world, petey! Ø is not known as being Dr. Utopia because he knows how to balance a checkbook!

  12. nyp10025 says:

    A “paragon of slime”?

  13. brucefeher says:

    I like that Athos!

  14. nyp10025 says:

    You know, Athos, there are lots of people in the 20s who, like you, mistakenly choose not to have health insurance. The rest of us pay for their mistakes, just as we paid for yours.

    ObamaCare is intended to make sure that that such “mistakes” (as you put it) don’t fall onto the shoulders of the rest of us.

    Otherwise, it will just keep happening over and over and over.

  15. The CPI change for the 12 months through November was 1.8 percent. The change for medical care services was 3.7 percent. The highest of any category.


  16. Rincon says:

    The bottom line is that EVERY other country pays less, by a mimimum of 40%, for medical care than we do and 25 or so manage to keep their citizens alive longer than we do, even though their medical systems are “inferior”. Although that doesn’t prove that our system gives us inferior care, it suggests the money is being poorly spent. If we cannot come up with a better system, then we shouldn’t be so proud as to ignore the success of so many other nations.

    26th place is an embarassment. America deserves better.

  17. Nyp says:

    No, no, no. The relevant statistic is growth compared to GDP growth. Take a look at Bob Pear’s article yesterday.

  18. A major part of the criteria for most of those rankings of health is whether the country provides universal coverage, Rincon.

    As for cost, try tort reform.


  19. No, no, no. The relevant stat is what is coming out of my pocket.


  20. Nyp says:

    Several red states have adopted severe limitations on tort actions, including malpractice actions. None have seen any effect on healthcare costs. I pointed that out to you during the ObamaCare debates and you chose to ignore it. Too inconvenient, I suppose.

  21. Nyp says:

    Yesterday’s Times: “The rate of increase in health spending, 3.9 percent in 2011, was the same as in 2009 and 2010 — the lowest annual rates recorded in the 52 years the government has been collecting such data. … In 2011,” the report said, “spending for private health insurance premiums increased 3.8 percent, as did spending for benefits. Out-of-pocket spending by consumers increased 2.8 percent in 2011, accelerating from 2.1 percent in 2010 but still slower than the average annual growth rate of 4.7 percent” from 2002 to 2008.”

  22. Milty says:

    “Federal officials could not say for sure whether the low growth in health spending represented the start of a trend or reflected the continuing effects of the recession, which crimped the economy from December 2007 to June 2009.

    “Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, said that ‘the statistics show how the Affordable Care Act is already making a difference,’ saving money for consumers. But a report issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, in her department, said that the law had so far had ‘no discernible impact’ on overall health spending.

    “‘Although some provisions of the law have taken effect,’ the report said, ‘their influence on overall health spending through 2011 was minimal.'”

  23. Athos says:

    I’ll state it again, petey, cause I hate to let your “misinformation” go unchecked. In my case, I LEARNED my lesson and have not been negligent in paying my bills, and saving my money. I had a “come to Jesus” moment and mended my ways, which will happen when there’s no one stupid enough to bail out a reckless delinquent.

    With the government bailing out the irresponsible, leaving them with no accountability, they DON’T learn their lesson and continue in their childish “let some one else pay for it” mind set. And the government, the most bloated, expensive, uncontrollable entity that it is, just grows larger and more powerful and MORE EXPENSIVE.

    Hence, where we are today. With health care costs exploding, and doctors quitting.

    Paragon may be the wrong word, petey. Maybe Cheerleader of Slime, would be a better descriptor.

  24. nyp10025 says:

    Athos – you still don’t get it. Your WERE bailed out. You didn’t have to pay the huge medical bills you racked up, even though you didn’t have insurance. And another thing: your decision not to purchase health insurance wasn’t “irresponsible” or “immoral.” It was a rational economic decision. Most 20 year-olds don’t get sick and don’t get into accidents. And health insurance on the individual market has been expensive. In addition, you knew that if you got hit by a car or found blood in your stool the medical system would have to help you. After all, we don’t want to live in a world in which people bleed out on the sidewalk in front of emergency rooms because they don’t have the money to pay for their lives to be saved.

    And you know something else? Millions of young people make the same decision you made not to purchase health insurance. It could be because they are immoral. Or, it could be because they are making relatively rational economic choices. In any case, the peculiar nature of healthcare economics encourages such paradoxical decisions. The great economist Kenneth Arrow noted that forty-five years ago, in a paper that helped win him the Nobel Prize.

    So the question becomes, how do you fix the system. We could wait and hope that every 20 year-old acquires the wisdom you accumulated as a result of declaring personal bankruptcy. But I don’t think that is going to work. And, in any event, they system will go bust in the mean time. Or, we could eliminate that “externality” (econ-speak) by requiring everyone to have insurance, but making the insurance really affordable through subsidies and tax credits. That’s ObamaCare.

    Or, we could adopt Tom Mitchell’s approach, which is to make it uneconomical for you to sue doctors and hospitals for leaving medical instruments in your abdomen or not monitoring your unborn child’s oxygen supply during birth. He thinks that is a great idea that will solve everything.

  25. Steve says:

    No Nyp you don’t get it. Once is a mistake to be used as a learning experience.

    Welfare families are generational today, they do not learn from the mistake and get off welfare, they learn to stay on welfare and how to keep as many of their descendants on welfare as well.

    This is the problem, not the people who need and are grateful for, this hand back up. People like Athos who are becoming more and more rare.

    As for insurance, the rates are still increasing even as the economy remains weak. Many economists attribute the slow increase of health insurance rates and costs more to the slow economy rather than ACA.

    Hospitals have just begun to lay off and downsize, you may think this is good but I see it as only the beginning because ACA is all about insurance coverage not one iota about provider availability. ACA does nothing to encourage more doctors and nurses and I personally know of RN’s being laid off for lack of money.
    I see ACA ensuring the health of insurance companies but little to do with actual health of the insureds.
    I already know you disagree. But that is OK you will find you are mistaken as they make major repairs and changes to the in flight supersonic jet known as ACA.

  26. nyp10025 says:

    ObamaCare allocates hundreds of millions of dollars to increasing the number or primary care physicians and nurses. It is in the portion of the law known as the Prevention and Public Health Fund. Support for residency slots, training for nurse-practitioners, etc. It also has a separate $1.5 billion to expand the very successful Health Service Corps, which gives financial aid to medical students who commit to practicing in rural areas.
    There is lots more on increasing provider availability.

  27. Steve says:

    Obviously its working….not.

  28. Rincon says:

    But the health care systems in many other countries are working better than ours, Steve, but we refuse to learn from them, just as Cuba and North Korea refuse to learn that Communism doesn’t work. I was fine with not socializing our health care system, but for 50 years, this nation has refused to change it. I’m tired of foot dragging. 50 years was plenty of time to show how great capitalism works in health care. News flash – IT FAILS! Blame anyone you want, but unless you plan on a dictatorship, we need a way to reduce costs that the voter will support.

    Thomas has a whole one idea – legal reform, which I support, but it’s not nearly enough. If you think it is, please show me some figures. I recall his only other idea was to merely refuse care for the sick who haven’t the means to pay, which has no prayer for becoming reality (obviously Thomas isn’t big on pragmatism), and would essentially degrade our health care system to 3rd world standards. I think we can do better. Steve agrees that our present system doesn’t work. Any suggestions?

  29. Vernon Clayson says:

    Obamacare is not about health, never has been, it’s about an immense influx of money to the money-grubbers in Washington and more power for them over our very existence. The next step is single payer, that will come in this, or in Obama’s third term.

  30. Rincon says:

    So you like it the way it was, Vernon?

  31. Steve says:

    the only real trouble with one sided libby programs is they are not PAID for, they are “funded” and it matters not where the “funding” originates. Libs would get conservative support for programs if libs would actually figure out how to PAY for the programs. Like the ACA.

  32. nyp10025 says:

    ObamaCare is fully paid for. So much so that the independent Congressional Budget Office projects that it will result in substantial deficit reduction.

    The programs that have not been paid for have all been projects of Republicans: the unfunded Bush tax cuts, the unfunded Wars in Iraq and Afganistan, and the unfunded Medicare prescription drug benefit.

  33. Rincon says:

    Agreed, Steve. Priority number one in health care has to be cutting expenses. Only when that has been accomplished should benefits be expanded. Unfortunately, we’ve been screwed in at least two ways. Firstly, there was no legal reform in Obamacare. Secondly,even when studies funded by Obamacare showed that PSA prostate tests are useless for screening (along with a finding along similar lines re: breast cancer screening). Unfortunately, Republicans screamed “rationing”, so Medicare and private insurance companies still pay for the useless test. We’ll never cut costs with that kind of thinking.

  34. Steve says:

    How about the USA just stop spending 40% more than the USA takes in? How about only spending say 10% more and call it better?

    Got to set a goal.

  35. Rincon says:

    Great! Now we just have to find a way to do it that we can agree upon.

  36. Athos says:

    I may be too late for this line, but here goes, anyway:

    “We could wait and hope that every 20 year-old acquires the wisdom you accumulated as a result of declaring personal bankruptcy. But I don’t think that is going to work.” petey made that statement January 9, 2013 at 6:00 am.

    Why wouldn’t that work, petey? Are you saying conservative Republicans are more responsive to life’s lessons? Are you implying that I’m some sort of superior person? That my actions can’t be duplicated?

    Say it ain’t so, petey!

  37. Rincon says:

    Heck, I keep watching these things for a long time, so in case nyp doesn’t answer, I think the problem is that the next generation keeps repeating the mistakes of the previous generation when they were young. Drinking and smoking come to mind. Monkeys learn from their mistakes; humans should learn from the mistakes of others, but often don’t.

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