Late sign-ups improve Obamacare outlook

A surge of eleventh-hour enrollments has improved the outlook for President Barack Obama's health care law, with more people signing up overall and a much-needed spark of interest among young adults.
AP Wire
Apr 19, 2014

Nonetheless, Obama's announcement that 8 million have signed up for subsidized private insurance, and that 35 percent of them are younger than 35, is just a peek at what might be going on with the nation's newest social program.

Still to be announced is what share of those enrolled were previously uninsured — the true test of Obama's Affordable Care Act — and how many actually secured coverage by paying their first month's premiums.

"This thing is working," a confident Obama said of his signature domestic achievement. The days of website woes and canceled policies seemed far behind.

State-by-state statistics, expected as early as next week, will provide a much fuller picture.

Republicans were having none of Obama's celebration. A statement from the office of Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said he remains committed to repealing the law and replacing it.

 

Comments

CAPNGORDO

Cancelling someones private insurance and forcing them to sign up for government insurance is NOT an "improvement"! This law was supposed to get the 43 million un-insured, insured. It has not!! #FAIL

GH55

The only reason the insurance policies are cancelled is because that policy did not meet the minimum requirements of ACA. The only government "insurance" is Medicare and Medicaid. The ACA requires you to have insurance which is normally available on the open market. The ACA sets up exchanges to provide those that are not included in some form of a group to get insurance at usually better rates then if you had to purchase individually.
If the GOP willfully continues to lie about this activity that is helping millions, it will take longer to fully implement. If they had a suggestion as to how to help fix the ACA, instead of "just say NO!", maybe this would work better for the whole country.
But instead the GOP would prefer to have many people maginalized and only have the emergency room as option, which then those of us that do choose to have insurance get stuck paying for in higher payments.
The entire medical system in this country needs to be fixed! It should not cost $5000 to get an MRI! This is just one aspect of the issue.

newsblogger

Prior to ACA we were paying $285 a mo are now paying $535 a month with a $20,000 deductible and are having to go without some much needed medications thanks to added costs of Affordable Health Care Tax Mandate. All that was added to our policy was maternity, and we cannot have children.

hautecouture

Agreed. Obamacare is a total joke. My policy was cancelled, and I was forced to sign up for a more expensive plan that actually covered much less than my first one did. I don't think I should be "required" to have a plan that has maternity care... ridiculous. I honestly feel that more people are uninsured now than pre-Obamacare... the only people to benefit from this (in my opinion) are the poor who don't work or refuse to work full time.

Lanivan

This is terrible, hautecouture. I honestly can't think of another thing that could go wrong. In fact, it seems so wrong that I'm wondering if you are misreading or misunderstanding your policies. Many stories like yours have shown to be incorrect with proper analysis.

I suggest: 1.) If your policy is provided through your employer, a meeting with the Human Services director. 2.) Scheduling a meeting with your Insurance provider. You need to get some answers. And, 3.) You would be better served to actually get some correct information about Obamacare. It sounds to me like you could be developing high blood pressure over your concern due to lack of facts.

Tri-cities realist

Yep, attack the victim. Surely everyone who is now paying more for less due to ACA must be lying, why not just say that? Or perhaps they are being funded by the Koch brothers to mislead, I'm surprised you didn't accuse them of that.

skyking007

Sour Grapes from the Right wing. The affordable care act is working and would be better if the obstructers would get out of the way. Let us work together, like the parties used to before this T-Party branch took over the Republicans. This can be improved. What a shame that some people don't care how many lives are being saved and can only think of the negative things.

Lanivan

At a time of renewal, let's be thankful that millions of previously uninsured people will now experience the peace of mind and sense of security that comes with knowing they are covered in the event of illness or accident, and that for hundreds of thousands of others, Obamacare means the difference between life and death.

But there is a tremendous amount of false information out there that has caused great confusion and skepticism. Here are some of the Koch Bros advertising claims that were designed to misrepresent, just to mislead people into voting for politicians that will do the Koch Bros' bidding ~ and the Washington Post FactChecker corrections :

Claim in Koch Attack #1: “I found this wonderful doctor and a great health care plan. My insurance was canceled because of Obamacare. Now, the out-of-pocket costs are so high, it’s unaffordable. If I do not receive my medication, I will die.”

Washington Post Fact Check:
FACT #1: “[She] suggested she had lost her ‘wonderful doctor’ when in fact she could keep that doctor in the new plan.”
FACT #2 “Her premiums were cut in half, from $1,100 a month to $571.”

Lie Detector: “One cannot claim that a plan is ‘unaffordable’ when over the course of the year it will provide you with substantial savings.”

Claim in Koch Attack #2: “Our health insurance plan was canceled because of Obamacare...This new plan is not affordable at all. My husband is working a lot more hours just to pay for these new increases.”

Washington Post Fact Check:
FACT: “The family qualified for Medicaid, but she was opposed for philosophical issues… So the family opted for a more expensive plan”

Lie Detector: “It is [the family’s] right to choose a more expensive plan. But it makes her claim of ‘unaffordable’ harder to swallow.”

Claim in Koch Attack #3: “Health care isn’t about politics. It’s about people. And millions of people have lost their health insurance, millions of people can’t see their own doctors, and millions are paying more and getting less.”

Washington Post Fact Check:
FACT #1: Many have not lost their health insurance -- “Many [have been] rolled into new plans, and Obamacare has reduced the number of uninsured.”
FACT #2: People don’t lose doctors because of Obamacare -- “This was true before Obamacare; employers changed plans all the time.”
FACT #3: People aren’t getting less for more -- “Obamacare mandates many new benefits.”

Lie Detector: “Once again Americans for Prosperity makes sweeping claims about the health-care law that lack context or offer a misleading picture.”

Koch attacks have been proven false time and time again: Politifact just announced that "in 13 fact checks, Americans for Prosperity [the largest Koch group] has never received higher than a Half True,” with the majority of attacks graded “false or mostly false."

Obamacare makes the Easter hope for a renewed and healthier future a reality.

nextdoor

My insurance company was changed costs are up and out of pocket costs are up maybe you should look in the real world not some liberal think tank

skyking007

Long before the Affordable act, Insurance companies said Insurance was going up. Think about it. Millions of new costumers and prices are going up? Why isn't the free enterprise system working? Have we seen any drug or Insurance companies going broke? NO, they are still raking it in. Money over people and not caring about people is the Republican way. Republicans will not be able to repeal this law and in the long run it will be worked on and bring down costs.

Tri-cities realist

Barry, order us 2 of what skyking is drinking.

Barry Soetoro

Unfortunately what ails SK is not due to drinking...but I'll pour us a Ten High just the same! *clink*

Tri-cities realist

Yep you are "allegedly" correct once again. Cheers!

Lanivan

I assume you're writing from EZE, France? (It's after 5:00 p.m. there....)

Barry Soetoro

EZE not Èze. It's still after 1 pm in Buenos Aires. I can't see where that garage got cleaned up either...

Lanivan

Thanks for reminding me....the garage is so clean and organized, no trace of salt, sand, grit, oil, anti-freeze or windshield wiper fluid, or peanut shells, it would be a great venue for a Beer Summit. Please let me know if and when you would like to make reservations.

Barry Soetoro

I can't speak for your other Trib pals but I would feel horrible if we all ended up stupid drunk and burning your garage down. Does Dial-a-Ride make it out your way?

Lanivan

Are you kidding? It's a lucky day when the Pizza Hut driver gets out here.

Good point about burning the garage down, but I've found that, in the past, calling my next door neighbor over to play his harmonica sobers everyone up sufficiently. He's really good at that.

Mystic Michael

I can't help noticing that amongst this entire cast of regular characters, not one of you has seen fit to provide SkyKing with an actual answer to his question. As usual, all you have to offer is cheap shots, snark and sarcasm. Under the circumstances, it's hard to conclude anything other than that it's because you've got nothing. Zippo. Squat.

So why would the insurance companies warn that policy prices were on the rise - just as they were about to receive a huge influx of new customers (thus turning the law of supply & demand on its head)? And why hasn't the "free enterprise" system been working?

The answer, as usual, has to do with the Three C's of Predatory Capitalism: corruption, cronyism and collusion. In a system that affords the corporations all the power, perks and privileges of a captive, largely unregulated market - while leaving their customers with virtually no recourse from the exploitation and abuse that inevitably follows, what economic or financial motivation (as opposed to the obvious moral obligation) would they have to do the right thing?

Ironically, it took a Democratic president, operating from a conservative Republican blueprint, and modeling a program that had been piloted by a Republican governor, to accomplish what conservatives always claimed the market was producing all along - but wasn't: more selection, better service, lower prices.

Tri-cities realist

Prices are going up due to the increased benefits required under obamacare. Maternity care for seniors, and covering all pre-existing conditions, etc. Do you think the added coverage is "free"? Perhaps that is why you don't seem to grasp the idea of free markets.

And before the ACA prices were already going up. Take your pick at the cause: higher malpractice insurance rates for frivolous lawsuits, evil big pharma and big medical companies who invest billions in research to develop new products (and they even expect to make a profit on their investments... the gall), the bureaucracy of insurance companies to comply with existing laws, or perhaps doctors are just greedy.

I blame the delay in my response on skyking's last three words "bring costs down". I thought that was a pretty good joke.

Happy now?

Tri-cities realist

Also according to politifact:

• Obama received PolitiFact’s Lie of the Year award for his statement that if you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan. PolitiFact rated the statement Half True in previous years, when legislation was being drafted and after it became law. In 2013, the statements were proved to be inaccurate for small percentage of people (still constituting several million Americans) who had their plans canceled by insurance companies.
Two percent of Obama’s statements have been rated Pants on Fire. Most recently, Obama earned a Pants on Fire in November, when he claimed his health care promise about people being able to keep plans had always included caveats. "What we said was, you can keep it if it hasn’t changed since the law passed," he said. PolitiFact found more than three dozen instances, though, where he or his team didn’t include any fine print on the pledge. We rated Obama’s statement Pants on Fire.

Those poor Koch brothers just can't keep up with the liar in chief. Lanny, berating the Koch brothers while defending Obama's big whoppers ad nauseam is pathetic. Everyone sees through your hypocrisy. Happy Easter!

Lanivan

So you don't refute my comment that the Koch Bros ads are full of falsehoods?

Tri-cities realist

Not any more than you can refute that Obama is the biggest liar of them all (see Lie of the year). And I didn't see any "lie of the year" ratings for the Koch brothers. So Obama wins the lying contest hands down! Will you finally admit that Obama is the lying king?

Lanivan

No, but what I will say with the courage of my convictions is that Obama is the most successfully pragmatic centrist right-leaning Democrat president, possibly in history, and, in the face of many unprecedented conditions, he has done a great deal for this country. I predict political historians will not be unkind to his tenure. Before you fly into an inappropriate state of righteous indignation, study some US history.

And the Koch Bros political manipulations, maneuvers, and propaganda will not.

Tri-cities realist

Making excuses for a known liar, who just happens to be President of the US, and not being able to admit he lied, does not take courage of convictions. Blind faith perhaps, or some tasty kool aid.

Lanivan

I wasn't making excuses for President Obama, or anybody for that matter. Obama doesn't need me to make excuses for him. I note you still have not attempted to refute my original comment regarding the proven false allegations utilized by the Koch Bros-funded ads being played throughout the country. Not only that, you have not made a single word of direct support for the Koch Bros ads - talk about a lack of courage of your convictions! Either you are for their lies, or you are not.

Let's play a game. You name the president, and I will supply you with some major whoppers told, perhaps some fibs that led to death, pain, suffering, staggering federal debt, tremendous increase in deficits, torture, depression, recession, and near total economic collapse.

I'm able to discern the fact that, a. All presidents lie. Some are tragic lies, most all are politically motivated, others are not total lies, but do not explain in the totality, and, b. You are fixated on Obama lying because you want him to be a liar to justify your fixation. Either that or you are just in talking point/echo chamber mode.

You certainly have a right to dislike the ACA, but it would serve you better if you stuck with arguing specifics about the health care reform, rather than harping on Obama and ranting about me and my beliefs.

So what is it that bothers you the most about the ACA? Pre-existing conditions covered? Helps bring down the Federal debt? Poor people will have insurance coverage instead of being chronically sick? Would you rather support more nuclear missiles? More tax subsidies to mature fossil fuel and agriculture industries? Let's debate the issues instead of hurling personal insults, ok?

And actually, I'm pretty much done with debating the ACA. Life is moving forward, more and more millions are signing up, more and more millions are learning more about the reform, and understanding it and how it impacts their life. It will never be allowed to be repealed, it's a done deal.

Vladtheimp

Yup, the science is settled. Won't talk about this anymore. Fingers in ears - don't try to find out real facts about enrollees - their numbers, their health, their subsidies, who has paid, the impact on insurance costs going forward. To quote King Nobama :I Won."

http://youtu.be/EnqgROXTSFw

Lanivan

You keep batting a thousand. First, one of my favorite hymns, and then this little gem, reminding me of how much I believed this at age 6.

Allow me to qualify my comment: I am not going to debate the Obamacare roll-out, concept, how or if Obama lied, or that I may or may not be a hypocrite. I will debate current and future statistics, facts, figures, charts, surveys, and budget predictions.

To quote Bush: "I'm the Decider".

Tri-cities realist

I love the concept of your game. Lets start with... Obama. I can't wait to see the list of whoppers. (I'll give you a hint, some can be found on this page, good luck).

And as I've said previously, I don't really care how the Koch brothers spend their money as long as it is legal. So why would you expect me to support their ads?

I prefer all presidents to be truthful, regardless of party affiliation. A quaint concept, I know.

What bothers me about ACA? We didn't need umpteen thousand pages to cover pre-existing conditions. ACA brings down the national debt? Now that is a good one (never mind robbing from Medicare to cook the books). Poor people? I thought that is what Medicaid was for. Nope, no more nukes or tax subsidies to fossil fuel, ag, or green energy either. Note my consistency in opposing these subsidies. That covers your list, I could go on and on about letting people take responsibility for their own lives, but that gets boring.

So once legislation is enacted, it should never be repealed or modified? I'd like to see you take the "done deal" approach to the SSM crowd, good luck with that.

windy

More lies from Washington. NEWSFLASH: AP news is not news. It's approved fluff from the office of president selfie.

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