Tag Archives: health reform

The 8 Biggest Myths About ObamaCare: NCPA Report

Dallas, TX (PRWEB) May 29, 2014

While millions of Americans have already lost their health coverage due to ObamaCare, many more will see their health care disrupted as the new law changes the American health system, according to a new report from the National Center for Policy Analysis that debunks eight of the most pervasive myths surrounding the Affordable Care Act.

“Two months after ObamaCare’s open-enrollment finished, the cracks are showing,” says NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham. “Millions of people have lost their health benefits and have signed up for ObamaCare plans in health-insurance exchanges. They are discovering that they have limited access to care, and were even misled about which doctors are in their provider networks. Medicare, hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and home-health care were raided for billions of dollars to pay for this new health program, which is already broken.”

For example –

Myth: If you like your health plan, you can keep it.

    Actually, 6 million people have had their insurance policies canceled, and another 19 million are enrolled in private health plans that do not comply with the Affordable Care Act’s requirements.
    Business’ employee health plans were supposed to be grandfathered into the law, but they lose that protection when small changes — such as a change in the deductible — occur.
    A government memo predicts that up to two-thirds of Americans with employer-provided health insurance will have to switch to more expensive, regulated plans and that, eventually, all plans will lose their grandfathered status.

Myth: If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.

    In reality, many exchange plans have narrow networks that limit a patient’s choice of doctor. In fact, a staggering 70 percent of California physicians are not in California’s exchange networks.
    Without an influx of new doctors, there is no realistic way to meet the demand that will be created by 26 million newly insured who seek to double their health care consumption. By 2015, the Association of American Medical Colleges predicts a shortfall of 21,000 primary care doctors.

Myth: There is an employer mandate to offer affordable coverage.

    Actually, an employer is fined $ 2,000 for each employee if he refuses to provide health coverage. $ 2,000 is generally cheaper than the cost of health benefits, so many employees will stop offering health insurance.
    Moreover, the Affordable Care Act incentivizes self-insured employers to offer very expensive coverage and require their employees to pay up to 9.5 percent of their wages in premiums and the full cost of coverage for their families. If an employee turns down this offer from his employer, he is not entitled to subsidies in the exchanges.

Myth: Health reform will lower the cost of health insurance by $ 2,500 a year per family.

    In fact, coverage will become more expensive for everyone outside of a small portion of older, low-income adults who have access to highly subsidized exchange coverage.

Graham also said, “The myths peddled by the Administration to sell ObamaCare are not harmless fairy tales, they have resulted in a program that is harming people’s access to health care.”

Full text: The Biggest Myths of ObamaCare: http://www.ncpa.org/pdfs/ib144.pdf

The National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy research organization, established in 1983. We bring together the best and brightest minds to tackle the country’s most difficult public policy problems — in health care, taxes, retirement, education, energy and the environment. Visit our website today for more information.

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Don’t believe the media. Obamacare is already adding to the unemployment rolls.


Commenting on the mainstream media of his day, Thomas Jefferson famously observed that "The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers." Coming from the Sage of Monticello, whose credentials as an advocate of the free press were pretty darned solid, this is an arresting statement. And it is evident that the news business has changed little during the two centuries that have come and gone since he penned that uncivil passage. Even if one ignores the "reporting" perpetrated by the New York Times and other leading lights of journalism in the wake of the Tucson shooting, the continuing relevance of Jefferson’s comment can be verified by perusing the stories appearing in most prominent publications about the GOP effort to repeal Obamacare .

The new House majority incurred the wrath of the media by refusing to change the name of the repeal bill and ignoring their calls to "wait a bit longer" before bringing it up for a vote. In fact, the Republicans had the temerity to give the "Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act" pride of place in their vote schedule. This affront has inspired a spate of "news" stories claiming that the GOP has misled the public concerning Obamacare’s effect on unemployment. The Republicans have, according to these articles, misrepresented a CBO report that suggests the new law will eliminate 650,000 jobs. A typical example is an AP "fact check" piece that includes this priceless quote from economist Paul Fronstin: "CBO isn’t saying that there is job loss as much as they are saying that fewer people will be working."

The irony of such verbal contortions is that they would be unconvincing even if they were not self-refuting. It isn’t necessary to invoke the CBO to demonstrate that Obamacare is a job killer. The ink was hardly dry on the new law when the layoffs began at the small insurance companies. Last year, HealthMarkets announced its plan to eliminate 250 jobs pursuant to "national healthcare reform." Likewise, Principal Financial Group said it would get out of the health insurance business and lay off 1,500 workers due to "the shadow of a lot of regulatory matters." The darkest of these regulatory shadows is Obamacare ‘s requirement that health carriers spend 80% of premiums on medical care. This mandate will drive many other carriers out of the market as well, and kill the jobs of anyone working in their health divisions.

The job losses have by no means been limited to health insurance companies. The actual providers of health care, including community hospitals, are beginning to eliminate jobs. Memorial Hospital in South Bend, Indiana, has had to cut nearly 50 jobs because Obamacare "has already started to cut reimbursement rates to hospitals across the region and the country and we expect that reality to get worse moving forward." Another small hospital, in Leominster, Massachusetts, will eliminate about 50 positions. The spokesman for that institution said the cuts were made necessary by "health care reform, with its reductions in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements." Yakima Valley Memorial, in the state of Washington, will also cut 70 to 100 jobs because "Under federal health care reform, Memorial must reduce its expenses."

In addition to the jobs it will destroy in the insurance and hospital industries, Obamacare ‘s new taxes will kill countless jobs in the medical device industry. The Massachusetts Medical Device Industry Council estimates that about 90 percent of member firms will be forced to "cut back on operational costs — and jobs — after [Obamacare ‘s] 2.3 percent tax on their products is implemented in 2013." And, lest you fall into the error of thinking that "reform" will bring enough new customers to offset the increased tax burden, 42 percent of the affected firms have indicated that Obamacare will not increase their business. The others are no doubt hoping that at least one of the promises made on behalf of Obamacare will actually be fulfilled. Inevitably, however, this addition to their cost of doing business will add to the unemployment rolls.

If you believe that all this carnage will somehow render health care more "efficient," as many progressive policy wonks have claimed, remember that reform-induced job losses will not be limited to the health care industry. As health care economist John Goodman points out, the various mandates imposed by Obamacare will effectively raise the cost of labor across the economy. He estimates that they will add ".28 an hour for full time workers (individual coverage) and .89 an hour (family coverage) for fulltime employees." Many businesses simply cannot absorb such increases without cutting labor costs. This is why we have heard so many cris de coeur from low-margin employers like White Castle, which says the financial hit "will make it hard for the company to maintain its 421 restaurants, let alone create new jobs."

And the government cannot simply "waiver" this problem away. Thus far, the Obama administration has issued get-out-of-jail-free cards to well over 200 employers and unions that screamed bloody murder when they realized how much devastation Obamacare will wreak on their operations. These waivers don’t cure the disease. They merely treat its symptoms. Even worse, they will eventually draw U.S. health care into an increasingly corrupt, Chicago-style political spoils system. Because these waivers are issued at the pleasure of the HHS Secretary, it is inevitable that the companies and unions with the most political power (i.e. those which have made the largest cash donations to the Democrats) will be given special dispensations. Less affluent employers will be forced to save money by cutting their labor costs.

None of the "reporters" peddling the CBO meme have shown any interest in the job losses already caused by Obamacare . They prefer to focus on the wickedness of the Republicans. As Paul Krugman phrases it, "The key to understanding the G.O.P. analysis of health reform is that the party’s leaders are not, in fact, opposed to reform because they believe… it will be ‘job-killing’ (which it won’t be). They’re against reform because it would cover the uninsured — and that’s something they just don’t want to do." This is the sort of dishonesty that prompted Jefferson to augment the above-quoted criticism of the Fourth Estate with the following: "Advertisements contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper." Were he with us today, he would no doubt include broadcast media and many Internet outlets in this indictment.


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Consumer Reports Poll Finds Over One Third of Consumers More Confused on Health Law Since Start of Open Enrollment

Yonkers, NY (PRWEB) December 11, 2013

One month after the start of open enrollment in the new Health Insurance Marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act, a new survey conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center shows that many American consumers now feel more confused about the law, the insurance marketplaces and how the ACA will impact them.

The nationally representative survey asked consumers whether they felt better or less informed about the law over the last month. Participants were also asked to identify whether statements describing elements of the law were true or false.

Key findings of the Consumer Reports survey of Americans’ understanding of the new health law include:

Less understanding of the law. Overall, 38% of respondents indicated they felt LESS informed over the course of the past month.

Incorrect beliefs about features of the law. Nearly half (48%) thought the ACA established a government-run health plan. Thirty-six percent thought the new law allowed the government to control their selection of doctors, and 30 percent believed the law set up government panels that would dictate decisions about end-of-life care. In contrast, one-quarter or less of respondents correctly identified these as false statements.

Lack of reliable information source. Ninety percent of respondents selected at least one barrier to the attainment of reliable information about Obamacare. They were inclined to spread the blame areas among several actors: conflicting news reports (52%), complexity of the law itself (52%), biased information coming from Congress (50%), uncertainly about whose opinions on the laws should be trusted (48%), conflicting information in TV ads (47%), biased information coming from the White House (44%) and biased information coming from state officials (38%).

“The American health insurance system has long been the world’s most complicated, and now consumers are being asked to understand an entirely new set of rules and procedures in addition,” said Nancy Metcalf, who covers health insurance and the new health law as a Consumer Reports senior editor. “No wonder they feel confused and unsure where to turn for reliable information. But with open enrollment underway and HealthCare.gov working more smoothly, consumers need help so they don’t miss out on getting the right coverage for themselves and their families.”

Consumers who need coverage in place by Jan. 1 must enroll by Dec. 23. Open enrollment runs through March 31, 2014.

Consumer Reports has designed a free, new online tool called http://www.HealthLawHelper.org to cut through the clutter and confusion and deliver personalized, tailored results for consumers about how the Affordable Care Act affects them, no matter what their insurance status, including those whose plans were recently cancelled because they don’t meet the new law’s requirements. By answering a few simple, anonymous questions (age, insurance status, family size, income etc), consumers will receive a results page outlining the different options available to them and any next steps they may need to take, based on the information they provide.

HealthLawHelper.org will also alert users not only to possible financial help in paying for private health insurance, but will also tell them if they or any family members might qualify for other programs such as Medicaid or CHIP.

The tool is also available in Spanish at http://www.AseguraTuSalud.org and has been optimized for mobile devices.

Metcalf is also blogging on a new topic related to Obamacare every day. All this content can be found at http://www.ConsumerReports.org/cro/health/insurance/health-care-countdown/index.htm.

Consumer Reports Poll Methodology

The Consumer Reports National Research Center’s national representative telephone survey about consumer understanding of the Affordable Care Act between November 8-10, 2013 included 1,000 U.S. residents (18 and older) and was fielded by vendor ORC International. Respondents, who were screened to meet national demographics, were asked their understanding of the provisions of the 2010 ACA one month following its rollout in October of 2013. The margin of error is + / – 3.0 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.

For a copy of the survey report, contact Joe Duraes or Kara Kelber.

Consumer Reports is the world’s largest independent product-testing organization. Using its more than 50 labs, auto test center, and survey research center, the nonprofit rates thousands of products and services annually. Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has over 8 million subscribers to its magazine, website and other publications. Its advocacy division, Consumers Union, works for health reform, product safety, financial reform, and other consumer issues in Washington, D.C., the states, and in the marketplace.


© Consumer Reports 2013. The material above is intended for legitimate news entities only; it may not be used for advertising or promotional purposes. Consumer Reports® is an expert, independent nonprofit organization whose mission is to work for a fair, just, and safe marketplace for all consumers and to empower consumers to protect themselves. We accept no advertising and pay for all the products we test. We are not beholden to any commercial interest. Our income is derived from the sale of Consumer Reports®, ConsumerReports.org® and our other publications and information products, services, fees, and noncommercial contributions and grants. Our Ratings and reports are intended solely for the use of our readers. Neither the Ratings nor the reports may be used in advertising or for any other commercial purpose without our permission. Consumer Reports will take all steps open to it to prevent commercial use of its materials, its name, or the name of Consumer Reports®. More information about Consumer Reports’ No Commercial Use and Linking policy can be found here: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/about-us/no-commercial-use-policy/index.htm.

Health Reform Workshop: How to Enroll in the Health Insurance Marketplace

Health Reform Workshop: How to Enroll in the Health Insurance Marketplace
Event on 2013-12-02 18:00:00

Join us to learn more about the new Health Insurance Marketplace and how to enroll in the new, more affordable coverage options.

This workshop will take a look at the different health insurance options available in Virginia, teach you how to calculate your eligibility for a premium subsidy, and show where and how to apply for coverage. Whether you’re uninsured, just want to explore your choices, or pass on information to your friends or family members, this session is for you and is free to attend.

Note: Medicare is not part of the Health Insurance Marketplace, so you don’t need to do anything. Health reform and the Marketplace will not affect your Medicare choices, and your benefits will not be changing.

at Waynesboro Public Library
60 South Wayne Ave
Waynesboro, United States