Archive for the ‘Affordable Care Act’ Tag

My Turn: Too much risk with house minority positions as Medicaid expansion questions loom | Juneau Empire – Alaska’s Capital City Online Newspaper   Leave a comment

My Turn: Too much risk with house minority positions as Medicaid expansion questions loom | Juneau Empire – Alaska’s Capital City Online Newspaper.

The battle in the Alaska Legislature explained.

IRS needs comments on ‘Cadillac’ tax – Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Community Perspectives   Leave a comment

IRS needs comments on ‘Cadillac’ tax – Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Community Perspectives.

The Cost of ObamaCare   Leave a comment

Things are not as bad as they could be in Alaska insurance rates, according to the Bradner Economic Report, an Alaska publication by long-time instate observers and reporters Tim and Mike Bradner, who are/were vocal supporters of the uh-Affordable Care Act. Group insurance rates are only expected to go up around 10% in 2014. Whew, what a relief! That’s still a 50% increase over rates from five years ago, but the precipitous climb seems to have slowed.

Of course, the ACA was designed to insure the uninsured by controlling premiums in the individual market. Those rates have more than doubled in the last five years (in Alaska). Now, for 2015, they’re only going to increase 37%. The brothers Bradner explain that the rise is due to all the people with health problems who were in the state high risk pool (ACHIA) jumped into the exchanges to get lower-cost coverage which has resulted in big losses for Premera and Moda Health, the two insurers offering polices in the exchanges.

Wow, where would we have been without the ACA?

Maybe if instead of this insanity Congress had opened medical insurance up across state lines, we’d be looking at lower rates. That’s right. There are 37 medical insurance companies in the nation. Only three are licensed to over policies in Alaska. Some of them have been caught in the past coordinating premiums. That’s what happens in a monopoly/duopoly/oligopoly. While I’m sure that Premera and Moda have suffered losses from the chronically ill jumping onto their polices, I’m also equally sure that they are making good profits and keeping those profits healthy by raising their rates to health people. The question is, why should healthy people who use medical care (and therefore medical insurance) much less have to pay higher rates for insurance they don’t use so that unhealthy people who use medical insurance more get low-cost rates?

With 37 companies all competing, it would be much harder for them to coordinate with one another. Someone would want to get a larger market share by offering lower cost policies and that competition would force the other companies to lower their rates.

Basic economics, but apparently lost on our government. Just words in the wind.

Two Ways to Look at the Not-Exactly Shutdown   3 comments

I had an interesting lunch hour today. I ran into an old friend from my social work agency days. And then I talked with my current coworkers who are most engineers.

SOCIAL WORKER: Isn’t it awful that the Republicans are forcing the government to close down in order to defund the Affordable Care Act? You State of Alaska workers must be so distressed!

STATE OF ALASKA ENGINEER: Isn’t it awful that the Democrats are forcing the government to close because they refuse to get their spending in order, starting with ObamaCare. The “close down” hasn’t affected me in the least and so far every federal agency I interact with in the course of my job appears to be manned.

You see, there’s two ways to view the shutdown that still has most federal workers working.

The GOP did it by refusing to allow a CR that wasn’t tied to ObamaCare.

The Democrats did it by refusing to allow a compromise on ObamaCare.

Those who really, really want ObamaCare are going to see it as the GOP being evil, but if you’re one of the 60% of Americans who say you don’t want ObamaCare, the choice is yours. The media wants you to believe that the GOP is acting improperly, but I view it as the GOP has finally grown a pair and is actually exercising legislative authority to stop the implementation of a bill that was passed in an unconstitutional manner.

The Democrats are the ones who refused to compromise. Obama is equally guilty. He could pull a Bill Clinton and work toward fixing our government spending problem. Clinton did that when he embraced welfare reform and acted like it was his idea, even though six months prior he’d been completely against it. Obama, of course, isn’t going to do that because dictators don’t have to listen to the people or follow any law higher than themselves.

The GOP, for once, has it right and it is the DEMOCRATS who are refusing to compromise in order to fund regular government operations. That’s their choice, but it’s the wrong one to make.

The Issue in a Nutshell   2 comments

Alaska’s Rep. Don Young voted in favor of the House bill that led to the government “shutdown” and issued a statement Monday evening Alaska time critical of the Senate.

“Hours away from a government shutdown, House Republicans have shown a willingness to come to the table, compromise, and put forward an actual solution,” Young said. “This is the third time we have offered them something different, but the Democrat-controlled Senate remains entrenched, demanding their way or the highway and risking the livelihood of thousands of hard-working government employees, all to prove a political point.

“Our latest proposal is simple: Delay the individual mandate of Obamacare by one year, which is consistent with what the Obama administration has already done for big business,” Young said. “We also believe that members of Congress and political appointees in the White House should not get any extra help in paying their skyrocketing health-care bill resulting from this new and flawed health-care system that each and every American must now join.”

What America Wants   6 comments

The majority of Americans do not necessarily know what they want. They have opinions on specific issues, but they haven’t thought about how those issues work together or the ultimate outcome of some of those opinions. This lack of serious thought about our national condition explains the current public opinion on defunding ObamaCare by tying it to the budget.

Americans still overwhelmingly HATE ObamaCare. I know, NPR says we don’t want it defunded per a Hart-McInturff survey, but let’s look at this clearly. HM Polls surveyed 800 Americans. I checked out the poll, which is questionable given the small sample size and the results were that the tiny little fraction of Americans surveyed didn’t want a government shutdown in order to defund ObamaCare. They found that 59% oppose defunding ObamaCare if it means a government shutdown and 44% oppose defunding ObamaCare under any circumstances. I found those numbers suspect, mainly because 800 people do not speak for 330 million.

So, I went over to Rasmussen, which typically surveys larger slices of the population to insure accuracy, and found a clear picture.

Most voters still don’t like the ACA and inspect it to increase, not reduce, health care costs. That’s 53% of those polled view it unfavorably, with 38% viewing it very unfavorably. Fifty-six percent favor delaying the individual mandate and 53% think the ACA will increase the deficit.

Forty-two percent of Republic-affiliated voters favor using the shutdown strategy to stop funding the ACA. At the same time, 56% of those polled think a government shutdown would be bad for the economy, even though payments for things like Social Security, Medicare and unemployment continued.

Interestingly 58% favor a federal budget that cuts spending. This might explain why 53% overall favor a partial government shutdown until Democrats and Republicans can agree on what spending to cut. Fifty-one percent (51%) favor having a partial government shut down until the two major parties agree on what spending for the health care law to cut.

So what we’ve learned here is that polls can be manipulated and that pundits will draw the conclusion they want from the polls and that the American people know what they don’t like, but they aren’t willing to do what it takes to fix things.

I don’t really care which party is “hurt” by this battle. I think tough choices need to be made and if I vote for a major party candidate in the future, it will be the candidates who voted to defund ObamaCare. I don’t fear a government “shutdown” because it’s a misnomer. The military will still get paid and entitlement checks will still go out.

Denali National Park is closing for the winter anyway, so what do I care if the Parks Service is furloughed?

And, that’s really the important thing to recognize. Most of the services that will be affected by a shut down are non-essentials like the Smithsonian Museums and the national parks. So what if you can’t go to them for a few weeks? Compared to the future ObamaCare will visit upon us all, that’s a small price to pay.

House Does What Americans Want   Leave a comment

It was good to open the Internet this morning to news that the House was passed a spending bill that will fund the government IF ObamaCare is defunded.

Yeah, it has no chance in the Senate, but that’s not the point. It’s the right thing to do. The American people have polled consistently against the “Affordable” Care Act since it was first put forth in 2009. It was shoved down our throats through Senatorial procedural sheninegans. The Supreme Court destroyed all pretense to being a constitutional body by upholding it.

Polls show that a majority of Americans support a government shutdown if ObamaCare is not defunded.

It’s the right thing to do. We survived the horror of sequestration. We’ll survive this and we’ll be the better for it without this albatross hanging around our necks.

Posted September 20, 2013 by aurorawatcherak in Common sense

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