Archive for the ‘Obamacare’ Tag

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The medical-loss-ratio requirement mandates that insurance companies spend at least 80 percent of premiums on actual health benefits. It is one of the various provisions intended to help shape the behavior of insurance companies, making the market more efficient and cost-effective for consumers. Administrative costs are kept down, meaning that more of people’s money is going to real care.

“The medical loss ratio requirement and rate review mandated by the ACA put downward pressure on premium growth,” officials from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services wrote in their report. Overall private insurance spending, of which premiums are a part, grew at a 2.8-percent rate — the lowest since at least 2007.

As Larry Levitt, vice president at the non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation, put it to TPM in an email: “That is how it’s intended to work.”

 

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/obamacare-mlr-health-spending-slow

 

 

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John Oliver “There is something strange about the fact that we launched deadly drone strikes in two sovereign nations that almost no one here heard about.  But then again, why would it make the news?  We use drones all the time.  Hard numbers are very difficult to come by for reasons that we’ll get into but by one estimate, the Obama administration we’ve launched eight times the number of drone strikes than his predecessor.  And, while they’ve declined a bit recently, drone strikes will be as much of a characteristic of the Obama presidency as Obamacare or receiving racist e-mail forwards from distant relatives.”

 

 

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Jon Stewart “What about Ted Cruz (R-TX), did he escape the internet’s wrath?”

Newsreader “‘Nelson Mandela’, he (Cruz) wrote, ‘will live in history as an inspiration for defenders of liberty around the globe’.  More than 5,000 people liked that comment, but not all of Cruz’s Facebook followers agree.  (reads a Facebook comment on Cruz’s post) ‘he was a murderer and a Communist.  Why are you inspired by this Ted?’.  ‘What about the rampant White Genocide BECAUSE of south african’s “freedon”???????’.   And another writes ‘Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, Mao and FDR are also dead.  They don’t deserve a positive Eulogy either.'”

Stewart “You know the ghost of Franklin Delano Roosevelt was like, how the bleep did I get dragged into this?  … Anonymous jerks on the web say stupid stuff all the time, what about non-anonymous jerks on the TV?”

Rick Santorum (Dec 5) “Nelson Mandela stood up against a great injustice and was willing to pay a huge price for that.  And, that’s the reason he’s mourned today.  Because of that struggle that he performed.”

Stewart “That’s great, as long as you don’t say anything else.”

Santorum continues “We have a great injustice going on right now in this country with an ever increasing size of government that is taking over and controlling people’s lives, and Obamacare is front and center in that.”

Stewart “How do I put this in terms that you’re going to understand here?  Uh, Apartheid is not Obamacare.  The systemic subjugation of a race of people is different from the establishment of subsidized health care exchanges.  The fact that that insurance is now mandated, again, gets us nowhere close to Apartheid level injustice in any way, shape, or, I cannot stress this enough.  So let the word go forth to a new generation of Americans wherever people gather, on whatever it is that Americans read (shows graphic of McDonald’s dollar menu with Apartheid is not Obamacare in the middle of the menu items), Apartheid, injustice wise, greater than, by a large amount of degrees, Obamacare.  If I may shout it from the hilltops (shows video of Julie Andrews from The Sound Of Music) Obamacare is not Apartheid.  The only injustice here, is that you can make a statement like that, and still get to have the TV talking stick.”

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-december-9-2013/apartheid-is-not-obamacare

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Jon Stewart “It is hard to overstate what a low point this is in Barack Obama’s Presidency, hard to overstate it, but not impossible.”

Brian Williams (NBC) “President Obama now finds himself compared to President George W Bush, as in the problems with the health care plan have become President Obama’s Katrina.”

CNN host “Is this Obama’s Katrina moment?”

MSNBC host “President Obama’s Katrina moment.”

Stewart “Katrina? Hurricane Katrina? Yes, I believe we’ve all see the damning photos of the Presidential flyover surveying the human suffering, (Shows a picture of a man on a roof surrounded by water and wreakage, holding a sign that says 404 error page not found) of the Healthcare.gov website, from a safe distance. I’m not trying to polish the .turd that is Healthcare.gov, but comparing the government abdication of responsibility during hurricane Katrina, the death of hundreds of people, the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people to a (bad) website is offensive, apparently, to the people who were in charge during hurricane Katrina”

Former White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card (November 18, 2013) “Katrina was a real disaster, but we also had jurisdictional challenges because you had a Mayor and the White House couldn’t do anything with the Mayor objecting. We had a Governor of Louisiana that was a challenge to work with.”

Stewart “That’s President Bush’s Chief Of Staff Andy Card saying it’s not fair to President Bush to compare the Healthcare.gov roll out to Katrina, because during Katrina Bush didn’t get the cooperation of the Louisiana Governor, you know, the way Obama gets it now”

Gov Bobby Jindal (R-LA) November 8, 2013 “Look, nobody’s going to bully Louisiana into expanding medicaid or joining part of Obamacare.”

Stewart “Bullying? The Feds were going to pay for the medicaid expansion. How is that bullying? Hey four-eyes, if you need to see an ophthalmologist, we can cover that. I mean, how is that bullying? That’s not the only reason, by the way, that the comparison is unfair to George Bush.”

Fox News Anchor “George Bush didn’t invent a hurricane.”

Fox News Anchor “Katrina was one region, though, this is across the country.”

Chris Wallace (Fox News) “Katrina was a terrible event. Lord knows, you were there, you saw how badly our government responded, but it began and ended within a week. This could affect people’s lives for years”

Stewart “Are you out of your bleeping mind? …I mean, hurricane Katrina lasted a week, and the effects of Obamacare, Spike Lee’s documentary about Katrina lasted longer than a week.”

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-november-18-2013/katrina-the-healthcare-glitch

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Ezra Klein “The Republican Party’s play is Fred Upton’s “Keep Your Health Plan Act.” The law is poorly named: It doesn’t actually guarantee that you can keep your health care. Instead, it allows insurers to keep offering their current plans and also allows them to offer new plans that aren’t ACA compliant.

At a slim 235 words, Upton’s bill is a master class in the pitfalls of soundbite legislation. It manages to fail to solve the problem it’s actually aimed at while creating a new political problem — this time, for Republicans.

The bill gives insurers the option of renewing their cancelled plans — but, crucially, it doesn’t require them to do so. Few insurers want to renew those plans, as they don’t expect them to be profitable in a post-Obamacare world. So Upton’s bill doesn’t mean people can keep their current health insurance, but it means they can begin (wrongly) blaming their health insurer rather than the Obama administration for the cancellation of that insurance.

Meanwhile, Upton’s bill has a secondary provision allowing insurers to offer new plans in 2014 that don’t comply with the Affordable Care Act’s consumer protections. So if an insurer wants to continue turning people away for being sick, they can go right ahead. If they want to offer shoddy coverage that’ll evaporate the moment a health crisis strikes, that’s their prerogative. The result is that Upton guts the law’s extremely popular insurance regulations. “A vote for the Upton bill, in short, is a vote for everything Americans say they hate about their health-care system,” Jon Cohn writes.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/11/14/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-plans-to-fix-obamacare/

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Donna received the letter canceling her insurance plan on Sept. 16. Her insurance company, LifeWise of Washington, told her that they’d identified a new plan for her. If she did nothing, she’d be covered.

A 56-year-old Seattle resident with a 57-year-old husband and 15-year-old daughter, Donna had been looking forward to the savings that the Affordable Care Act had to offer.

But that’s not what she found. Instead, she’d be paying an additional $300 a month for coverage. The letter made no mention of the health insurance marketplace that would soon open in Washington, where she could shop for competitive plans, and only an oblique reference to financial help that she might qualify for, if she made the effort to call and find out.

Otherwise, she’d be automatically rolled over to a new plan — and, as the letter said, “If you’re happy with this plan, do nothing.”

If Donna had done nothing, she would have ended up spending about $1,000 more a month for insurance than she will now that she went to the marketplace, picked the best plan for her family and accessed tax credits at the heart of the health care reform law.

“The info that we were sent by LifeWise was totally bogus. Why the heck did they try to screw us?” Donna said. “People who are afraid of the ACA should be much more afraid of the insurance companies who will exploit their fear and end up overcharging them.”

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/insurance-companies-misleading-letters-obamacare

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Offering a frank assessment of how his fellow Republicans approach the issue of poverty, Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) sounded a bit more like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) than a guy who stumped for Mitt Romney.

“I’m concerned about the fact there seems to be a war on the poor,” Kasich told the New York Times in a story published Tuesday. “That if you’re poor, somehow you’re shiftless and lazy.”

“You know what?” he added. “The very people who complain ought to ask their grandparents if they worked at the W.P.A.”

Although he opposes the Affordable Care Act, Kasich broke with many Republican governors when he accepted the Medicaid expansion under the law. Despite the efforts by some GOP lawmakers to block the expansion, Kasich unilaterally secured the federal funds — which will be used to provide coverage to up to 275,000 low income Ohioans — through a manuever that could face conservative legal challenges.

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/gop-gov-kasich-says-there-seems-to-be-a-war-on-the-poor