Obamacare is Here to Stay
Big Grin Tee he he. Laughing
Red State THURSDAY, JANUARY 30, 2014

Republicans Begin Laying Groundwork to Walk Away From Obamacare Opposition
By: Erick Erickson (Diary) | January 16th, 2014 at 04:30 AM

Conservative and Republican affiliated groups have started the 2014 assault against Democrats who support Obamacare. At the very same time, it is increasingly clear Republicans are laying the groundwork to abandon their opposition to Obamacare.

The Business Roundtable, which has a great relationship with Republican Leaders, is now listing Obamacare as an entitlement worth preserving.

Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former economic advisor to John McCain and who opposed passage of Obamacare, has started a think tank premised on keeping, but fixing, Obamacare. Holtz-Eakin has the ear of Republican leaders. In 2009, Mitch McConnell appointed him to the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission.

The Chamber of Commerce is declaring it will work to fix, not repeal, Obamacare. In fact, just last week the head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said, “The administration is obviously committed to keeping the law in place, so the chamber has been working pragmatically to fix those parts of Obamacare that can be fixed.”

(01-30-2014, 07:52 AM)cletus1 Wrote: Big Grin Tee he he. Laughing
Red State THURSDAY, JANUARY 30, 2014

By: Erick Erickson (Diary) | January 16th, 2014 at 04:30 AM

Conservative and Republican affiliated groups have started the 2014 assault against Democrats who support Obamacare. At the very same time, it is increasingly clear Republicans are laying the groundwork to abandon their opposition to Obamacare.

The Business Roundtable, which has a great relationship with Republican Leaders, is now listing Obamacare as an entitlement worth preserving.

Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former economic advisor to John McCain and who opposed passage of Obamacare, has started a think tank premised on keeping, but fixing, Obamacare. Holtz-Eakin has the ear of Republican leaders. In 2009, Mitch McConnell appointed him to the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission.

The Chamber of Commerce is declaring it will work to fix, not repeal, Obamacare. In fact, just last week the head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said, “The administration is obviously committed to keeping the law in place, so the chamber has been working pragmatically to fix those parts of Obamacare that can be fixed.”


And this is how stuff works.
Little by little, a step at a time, our political system will tweak, pull and push, and in time we will have a compressive health care system that while not perfect will be SO FAR better than what we have previously had.
Now if only they would now raise the Min Wage.
Here's a video of a news broadcast where the station was invited in while the employees of a small business were told of their new healthcare coverage under the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. Very enlightening.

WTAE-PA: Pennsylvania Small Business Hit With Skyrocketing Health Costs From ObamaCare

I wonder how many people in the room voted for Obama and supported his healthcare push..... until the chicken came home to roost?
Herpes is here to stay, too. Although, I'll bet not many people want it.
On October 30 2013 Obama traveled to Boston Massachusetts to give a speech. During the speech he praised Bostonians about their healthcare system. In fact he told them that Obamacare was modeled after their healthcare system:

Quote:And it’s because you guys had a proven model that we built the Affordable Care Act on… Your law was the model for the nation’s law. Barack Obama 10-30-13

A study that just came out shows what the future looks like using Obama's shining example.

Quote: Pharma & Healthcare
1/29/2014 @ 11:13AM
Doctor Wait Times Rise As Obamacare Rolls Out

Patients are waiting an average of 18 days to schedule an appointment for a doctor, according to a study of appointments for commonly used specialty physicians in 15 major U.S. cities.

The survey by physician staffing and consulting firm Merritt Hawkins comes as a doctor shortage looms as more patients seek medical care under the Affordable Care Act. The health law is bringing millions more Americans health benefits and therefore the ability to pay for a visit to the doctor’s office.

The longest wait to see a doctor was in Boston where the average wait was 45.5 days to schedule an appointment with a family physician, dermatologist, cardiologist, orthopedic surgeon or obstetrician/gynecologist. The survey came from a sampling late last year of nearly 1,400 medical offices across the country.
I guess they thought it was free....

Quote:Obamacare deadbeats: Some don't pay up
By Tami Luhby @Luhby January 30, 2014: 11:02 AM ET

[Image: 140129154149-heatlh-insurance-payment-620xa.jpg]

Just cause they've signed up for Obamacare doesn't mean they're covered.

Around one in five people who picked health insurance policies on the state and federal exchanges last year haven't paid their first month's premiums, according to insurers polled by CNNMoney. These folks will likely see their policy selection canceled and they'll be left uninsured.

Some 2.1 million people signed up for a plan in time for their coverage to start January 1, according to the Obama administration. But with the payment deadlines stretching until January 31 at the latest, anywhere between 12% and 30% of those folks still haven't paid up, insurers say.

Most consumers were given until the middle or the end of January to pay their first premium, a necessary step to actually activating enrollment. Exchange officials and insurers repeatedly stressed the importance of sending in that first payment, with some following up with the slackers by phone or letter.

The true enrollment figure likely won't be known for a few weeks.
Uh Oh......

Quote:Health Law Is A Tough Sell To Uninsured

By Jordan Rau

January 30th, 2014, 5:57 AM

[Image: tracking-poll-chart-500.png]

Uninsured Americans — the people that the Affordable Care Act was designed to most aid — are increasingly critical of the law as its key provisions kick in, a poll released Thursday finds.

This month’s tracking poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 47 percent of the uninsured said they hold unfavorable views of the law while 24 percent said they liked it. These negative views have increased since December, when 43 percent of the uninsured panned the law and 36 percent liked it. (KHN is an editorially independent program of the Foundation.)

The poll did not pinpoint clear reasons for this drop, which comes in the first month that people could start using insurance purchased through the online marketplaces that are at the heart of the law. It did point out that more than half of people without insurance said the law hasn’t made a difference to them or their families. In addition, the pollsters noted that almost half of people without coverage were unaware the law includes subsidies to offset premium costs for people of low and moderate incomes.

Among all Americans, the sentiment was also negative, with 50 percent holding unfavorable views of the law and 34 percent supporting it. Views on the law have not been even since the end of 2012. Despite this, just 38 percent of the public wants the law to be repealed.

Most Americans say they have not been personally affected by the law. However, 27 percent say they have had a negative experience, while 15 percent say they’ve had a positive one. People with negative views chalked it up most often to the high costs of health care and insurance.

The pollsters surmised these views did not reflect actual experiences with the new marketplaces that began operation on Jan. 1, because only a small portion of those eligible has enrolled in them so far. The poll also noted that twice as many people said they had seen news stories about people being harmed by the law as had seen stories about people being helped.

The survey reported that four in 10 uninsured people said they had tried to get coverage in the past six months, either through Medicaid, a private insurer or the new health care online marketplaces. Seventy percent of the uninsured said they viewed health coverage as important and necessary.

The survey found that a quarter of Americans reported a change in their insurance status during the past six months. Roughly half of them attributed it to the health law, and the others cited an unrelated reason. Among those who linked their new circumstances to the health law, the most common type of change was switching health plans. About even numbers said they had gained coverage as said they lost coverage.

The survey was conducted from Jan. 14 through Jan. 21 among 1,506 adults. The margin of error was +/- 3 percentage points.
More collateral damage...

KY Woman Confronts Obama About Losing Plan And Son's Doctor Due To ObamaCare

Ah, Hope and Change..
Silly me. And here I thought Obamacare was "for the children".

Quote:Sick Kids Denied Specialty Care Due to Obamacare in Washington
11:16 AM, Jan 31, 2014

In Washington state, some sick kids have been denied specialty care due to Obamacare, a local news outlet reports:

KING-WA: WA Children Denied Access To Specialty Care At Hospital Due To ObamaCare Plan . Hospital administrators predicted it would happen, and it did.
(02-01-2014, 11:31 AM)SFLiberal Wrote: Silly me.

A refreshing bit of honesty. Smiling
(02-01-2014, 11:32 AM)PonderThis Wrote:
(02-01-2014, 11:31 AM)SFLiberal Wrote: Silly me.

A refreshing bit of honesty. Smiling

An unnecessary bit of judgement.
Yes, but I know you like that sort of thing.

(And actually, SFLiberal posts some of the silliest stuff on the forum, political things that are factually untrue and actual out and out lies to further his religious/political agenda. I don't suppose you've noticed that.)
(02-02-2014, 04:47 AM)PonderThis Wrote: Yes, but I know you like that sort of thing.

(And actually, SFLiberal posts some of the silliest stuff on the forum, political things that are factually untrue and actual out and out lies to further his religious/political agenda. I don't suppose you've noticed that.)

Don't assume you "know I like that kind of thing".

Of course I notice the kind of stuff SF posts. But to say it's a bit of refreshing honesty isn't your call to make.
Call him on substance rather than making snarky remarks.
Pot and kettle and all that.
No, the part you like is the unnecessary bits of judgement. I can tell because you do it so much.
Cry me a river. Are we supposed to feel sorry for them? Maybe they should have read the bill before they urged their progressive buddies to pass it.

Quote:Labor union officials say Obama betrayed them in health-care rollout

By Steven Mufson and Tom Hamburger, Published: January 3

Labor leaders who have spent months lobbying unsuccessfully for special protections under the Affordable Care Act warned this week that the White House’s continued refusal to help is dampening union support for Democratic candidates in this year’s midterm elections.

Leaders of two major unions, including the first to endorse Obama in 2008, said they have been betrayed by an administration that wooed their support for the 2009 legislation with promises to later address the peculiar needs of union-negotiated insurance plans that cover millions of workers.

Their complaints reflect a broad sense of disappointment among many labor leaders, who say the Affordable Care Act has subjected union health plans to new taxes and mandates while not allowing them to share in the subsidies that have gone to private insurance companies competing on the newly created exchanges.

After dozens of frustrating meetings with White House officials over the past year, including one with Obama, a number of angry labor officials say their members are far less likely to campaign and turn out for Democratic candidates in the midterm elections.

“We want to hold the president to his word: If you like your health-care coverage, you can keep it, and that just hasn’t been the case,” said Donald “D.” Taylor, president of Unite Here, the union that represents about 400,000 hotel and restaurant workers and provided a crucial boost to Obama by endorsing him just after his rival Hillary Rodham Clinton had won the New Hampshire primary.

Taylor and Terry O’Sullivan, president of the Laborers’ International Union of North America, laid out their grievances this week in a terse letter to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), saying they are “bitterly disappointed” in the administration.

A White House spokeswoman declined to comment on the union leaders’ claims that they were misled. A person familiar with Obama’s meeting with the labor chiefs said he “listened to the group’s concerns with empathy” but explained that the law would not permit the administration to take the steps they requested.

Obama administration officials and some outside experts said that if the unions got their way, people enrolled in their plans would be indirectly getting two tax benefits while most Americans get only one.

In December, Labor Secretary Thomas Perez proposed some changes for plans that cover unionized and other workers.

But in the letter to Reid and Pelosi, O’Sullivan and Taylor wrote, “If the administration honestly thinks that these proposed rules are responsive to our concerns, they were not listening or they simply did not care.”

Many labor leaders hope to make headway in talks with the administration and have opted to withhold sharp criticisms of the White House. AFL-CIO officials declined to comment, referring reporters to a resolution passed at the organization’s last convention that echoed the policy concerns expressed in the Reid-Pelosi letter.

The rejections by the White House follow previous disappointments for the labor movement, which poured money into pro-Obama campaigns in 2008 and 2012 and deployed millions of grass-roots volunteers motivated largely by their support for Obama’s push to bring about near-universal health insurance. Another major goal of the labor movement — card-check legislation to make it easier for workers to form unions — failed to win support after what many labor officials thought was a lackluster effort by the White House.

Union officials expect the health-care controversy to intensify a raging debate within the labor movement over how deeply labor should invest in Democratic Party candidates.

Already, the Laborers’ International Union has established warm relations with one potential GOP presidential candidate, Chris Christie, endorsing his 2013 reelection as New Jersey’s governor. The union gave $300,000 to the Republican Governors Association, now headed by Christie. And there have been preliminary discussions between labor officials and aides to the governor over a possible appearance by Christie at a union convention.

Taylor said that he doesn’t think his union will embrace Republicans but that it may lack enthusiasm for Democrats. Unions have been a major source of funding and ground-level efforts on behalf of Democratic candidates.

“You can’t just order people to do stuff,” Taylor said. “If their health plan gets wrecked, why would they then go campaign for the folks responsible for wrecking their health care?”

About 20 million people are covered by union-negotiated trust funds often referred to as “Taft-Hartley funds” because they are regulated by the Labor Management Relations (Taft-Hartley) Act of 1947, as well as by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. These funds, jointly managed by unions and employers, are particularly important for construction unions, whose members often move from project to project.

Many churches and large corporations also have their own self-funded, nonprofit plans. Nineteen companies, including Caterpillar, General Electric, Intel and the big automakers, have formed a Corporate Health Care Coalition. Several unions have joined the coalition’s call for an end to a special tax levied on self-funded plans.

The Treasury Department has determined that Taft-Hartley plans cannot receive the tax break given to such health plans and the subsidies for insurance companies in the exchanges set up for those who can’t get affordable insurance through their jobs.

“The unions here are asking to double dip,” said Robert Laszewski, a health policy consultant in Washington. “It is an unfair request. The Obama plan is very simple: If your employer pays for your health plan, you are not eligible for a government subsidy. What the unions are asking for is government and employers to fund their benefits.”

Union officials acknowledge that their plans are unique but say the health-care law didn’t take that into account. As a result, they say, commercial insurers can cover anyone through the individual or group markets, while their funds cannot. They add that the law provides incentives for employers to drop coverage and shift their employees to the exchanges.

The legislation also imposes a $63-a-person annual tax on nonprofit, self-funded plans, including unions’ plans, and uses that money to subsidize insurance companies that take on costly patients. The union plans do not get any of that subsidy money, a source of union outrage.

Labor leaders also complain the law hurts in other ways. In the Las Vegas area alone, the Unite Here health fund has absorbed about 13,577 new young-adult dependents at an annual cost of $16.3 million because of the rule allowing young adults to stay on their parents’ health plan until the age of 26, union leaders said.

Unions also complain that their plans are not allowed to compete with for-profit insurance companies on the new exchanges, where they might offer lower-cost options.

The unions’ frustrations have captured the attention of the White House.

During preparations for a September meeting of the AFL-CIO, administration officials lobbied to alter a resolution so that it called for repair, not repeal, of the health-care legislation. The resolution passed unanimously. At the meeting, O’Sullivan said, “We’ll be damned if we’re going to lose our health insurance because of un­intended consequences in a law. It needs to be changed, it needs to be fixed, and it needs to be fixed now.”

On Sept. 13, top labor leaders met for more than an hour with Obama and top administration officials at the White House. But they later learned that the administration had written to two leading GOP lawmakers to say that Taft-Hartley plans would not get subsidies.

Although other labor leaders did not sign the letter, many of them also are upset about the treatment of their health plans under the legislation — including the heads of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the Building Trades Unions.

Taylor said Unite Here officials have met with White House officials 48 times. At the time the health-care bill was being considered, he said, “we were told that ‘if there were problems, don’t worry, we’ll get them fixed.’?”

“We thought that if we made the case to the agencies dealing with regulations to correct problems that hurt, really destroy, self-funded nonprofit health plans, it would be resolved,” Taylor said. “That clearly was naive or stupid.”
The bright side is Obama can take credit for the unemployment rate going down again when these people stop looking for a job...

Quote:Obamacare will push 2 million workers out of labor market: CBO

By Stephen Dinan
The Washington Times

Obamacare will push the equivalent of about 2 million workers out of the labor market by 2017 as employees decide either to work fewer hours or drop out altogether, according to the latest estimates Tuesday from the Congressional Budget Office.

That’s a major jump in the nonpartisan budget agency’s projections and it suggests the health care law’s incentives are driving businesses and people to choose government-sponsored benefits rather than work.

“CBO estimates that the ACA will reduce the total number of hours worked, on net, by about 1.5 to 2 percent during the period from 2017 to 2024, almost entirely because workers will choose to supply less labor — given the new taxes and other incentives they will face and the financial benefits some will receive,” CBO analysts wrote in their new economic outlook.

The scorekeepers also said the rollout problems with the Affordable Care Act last year will mean only 6 million people sign up through the state-based exchanges, rather than the 7 million the CBO had originally projected.

But over the long run, Obamacare will eventually catch up and by 2020 only about 30 million people will be without insurance coverage — down from 45 million this year. That will mean about 92 percent of legal U.S. residents without guaranteed access to Medicare will have insurance coverage.

Taking the budget as a whole, the CBO said Congress has made substantial headway on cutting spending and raising taxes, which has cut the deficit in 2014 to just $514 billion.

That deficit will continue to drop in 2015, but will then begin to quickly rise, once again topping $1 trillion in 2022.

The CBO analysis said the economy isn’t rebounding as fast as usual after such a deep recession, and said that poor growth means less revenue coming in to the Treasury Department — which means the cumulative deficit over the next decade will be $1 trillion more than projected just last year.

Debt, which is the accumulation of those annual deficits, is already at its highest level since the aftermath of World War II, and the CBO says debt held by the public will be nearly 80 percent of gross domestic product by 2024, which is the end of the budget window.

The new report will give ammunition to those who argued that tax increases or spending cuts should have been delayed while the government pursued more stimulus spending to boost economic growth over the last few years.

But the CBO’s report also suggests that the problems are more structural, given the aging U.S. population and women’s participation in the labor force.

Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014...z2sNPN3grk
Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter
Do I feel sorry for these people? Nope. They voted for the people who imposed Obamacare on America so screw them..

Quote:Obamacare Costs, Limited Doctor Choice Disproportionately Hurt Latinos

by Frances Martel 3 Feb 2014

"This is either an unfortunate coincidence or a cruel joke," Daniel Garza writes in the San Antonio Express-News on the topic of Obamacare. Between its reliance on the young insured, an unintelligible Spanish website, and significant limits on doctor choice, the Affordable Care Act disproportionately hurts Latinos.

After the weeks-long delay of the Spanish version of HealthCare.gov, CuidadodeSalud.gov, and the delivery of a product so grammatically deficient Spanish speakers could not use it, statistics on the Affordable Care Act show that Latinos are affected more than most groups by skyrocketing premiums and the limits on choosing a doctor. Garza explains on the latter note that choosing a doctor is more difficult for many latinos than for non-Latinos because of language and demographics. Garza cites a report from the National Hispanic Medical Association that notes that Latinos prefer doctors they can relate to culturally, that "understand [our] families' dynamics and traditions."

This makes sense; even English-speaking Latinos feel more comfortable talking about sensitive health issues in their first language, or even in English but with someone who understands their cultural background and context. This is human and not at all unique to Latinos; local doctors thrive on this instinct. Latinos are hurt more by limits in doctor choice networks than the average American, however, simply because there are fewer doctors with that cultural background. Garza reports that only five percent of doctors nationwide are Latinos, so the fewer the options, the less likely that a patient will find a doctor with whom they feel comfortable.

Finding a doctor they like is only a problem, of course, for those already insured. Garza highlights an even bigger problem for Latinos: the high premiums that will make it almost impossible for many to keep up with their insurance payments. The system works in a way that siphons a great deal of money from a pool of mostly healthy younger members and uses that to fund the medical needs of older groups. Latinos are disproportionately young; therefore, they are hit harder by the high premiums for the young insured.

While Garza writes of the Latino population of Texas--42% of the state, according to the latest Census--the results of a policy that so directly disadvantages one group are clear nationwide. In California, for example, the state exchange is bleeding money because of the lack of Latino enrollment; while 29% of the state speaks Spanish as a main language, only 5% of those enrolled in the state exchange do. That's less than five thousand people in a state of 38 million.

Garza's is a fascinating analysis of how, despite Democrats spending millions on targeting Latinos to use HealthCare.gov, the lack of thorough analysis of the impact of such a law is creating an especially dreadful situation for this group. He questions whether Latino leaders were considered when the bill was drafted or whether anyone in Congress considered that no population needs a wider choice of doctors and is more likely to harbor so-called "young invincibles" than the fastest growing minority in America.

The sad reality is that they not only considered Latinos generally when drafting the bill and still came up with such a directly damaging system that Garza calls it a "cruel joke," but that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has hinted at the fact that the system is not designed to work without immigration reform and the inclusion of millions more Latinos in enrollment, legally in the country or not. The success of the ACA is, according to Sebelius, "another very keen reason why immigration reform is so important." While it is important to note that China contributes a significant number of illegal immigrants to the country every year--that is to say, "undocumented immigrant" does not necessarily mean "Latino"--in the context of the politics of immigration reform, Mexican and South American illegal immigrants are paramount in the discussions.

The push to use HealthCare.gov as a selling point for the Democratic Party to the growing Latino voter pool seems particularly sinister given the compounded effects of the law. When Latinos, as Garza notes, are already less likely to buy insurance and less likely to go to the doctor, the fact that the average age in the Latino population is 27--just a year above the limit for being under a parent family plan--makes it clear that many will simply choose to go without insurance or do their best to avoid using HealthCare.gov. They are being asked to pay more for a service that gives them less--and, because of their age, carry a larger share of the national burden. Without significant improvements to the system, starting with the embarrassingly wrong Spanish on CuidadodeSalud.gov, Latinos will be left with few positive impressions of the healthcare law.
And Obama's peeps can't or won't give an estimate when they will fix this..

Quote:HealthCare.gov can’t handle appeals of enrollment errors

By Amy Goldstein, Published: February 2, 2014

Tens of thousands of people who discovered that HealthCare.gov made mistakes as they were signing up for a health plan are confronting a new roadblock: The government cannot yet fix the errors.

Roughly 22,000 Americans have filed appeals with the government to try to get mistakes corrected, according to internal government data obtained by The Washington Post. They contend that the computer system for the new federal online marketplace charged them too much for health insurance, steered them into the wrong insurance program or denied them coverage entirely.
How’s that new Obamacare plan working out?

For now, the appeals are sitting, untouched, inside a government computer. And an unknown number of consumers who are trying to get help through less formal means — by calling the health-care marketplace directly — are told that HealthCare.gov’s computer system is not yet allowing federal workers to go into enrollment records and change them, according to individuals inside and outside the government who are familiar with the situation.

“It is definitely frustrating and not fair,” said Addie Wilson, 27, who lives in Fairmont, W.Va., and earns $22,000 a year working with at-risk families. She said that she is paying $100 a month more than she should for her insurance and that her deductible is $4,000 too high.

When Wilson logged on to HealthCare.gov in late December, she needed coverage right away. Her old insurance was ending, and she was to have gallbladder surgery in January. But the Web site would not calculate the federal subsidy to which she knew she was entitled. Terrified to go without coverage, Wilson phoned a federal call center and took the advice she was given: Pay the full price now and appeal later.

Now she is stuck.

“I hope,” she said, “they really work on getting this fixed.”

The Obama administration has not made public the fact that the appeals system for the online marketplace is not working. In recent weeks, legal advocates have been pressing administration officials, pointing out that rules for the online marketplace, created by the 2010 Affordable Care Act, guarantee due-process rights to timely hearings for Americans who think they have been improperly denied insurance or subsidies.

But at the moment, “there is no indication that infrastructure .?.?. necessary for conducting informal reviews and fair hearings has even been created, let alone become operational,” attorneys at the National Health Law Program said in a late-December letter to leaders of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the agency that oversees HealthCare.gov. The attorneys, who have been trying to exert leverage quietly behind the scenes, did not provide the letter to The Post but confirmed that they had sent it.

A CMS spokesman, Aaron Albright, said, “We are working to fully implement the appeals system.”

Three knowledgeable individuals, speaking on the condition of anonymity about internal discussions, said it is unclear when the appeals process will become available. So far, it is not among the top priorities for completing parts of the federal insurance exchange’s computer system that still do not work. Those include an electronic payment system for insurers, the computerized exchange of enrollment information with state Medicaid programs, and the ability to adjust people’s coverage to accommodate new babies and other major changes in life circumstance.

The exchange is supposed to allow consumers who want to file appeals to do so by computer, phone or mail. But only mail is available. The roughly 22,000 people who have appealed to date have filled out a seven-page form and mailed it to a federal contractor’s office in Kentucky, where the forms are scanned and then transferred to a computer system at CMS. For now, that is where the process stops. The part of the computer system that would allow agency workers to read and handle appeals has not been built, according to individuals familiar with the situation.

In the meantime, CMS is telling consumers with complaints about mistakes to return to the Web site and start over. “We are inviting those consumers back to HealthCare.gov, where they can reset and successfully finish their applications without needing to complete the appeals process,” said Albright, the agency spokesman. The rationale is that, since the computer system is working better now, it’s less likely to make mistakes.

Agency officials have no way of knowing how many people have taken that advice, according to two individuals familiar with the situation. The computer system containing the scanned appeals forms cannot yet communicate with HealthCare.gov’s enrollment database, so it is impossible to cross-check the information.

Across the country, a few specialists trained to help people enroll in the health plans point to examples in which withdrawing an application and starting over has solved the problem. But that is not a solution for everyone.

Starting over would not help Addie Wilson, for example, because she has already begun to pay for her new insurance and would have no way to get her money back. A few days before Christmas, Wilson was hospitalized with what turned out to be a gallbladder so infected that doctors inserted a drain so it would be safer by the time they operated — the first surgery of her life. She needed a health plan because her employer, the organization Home Base, was cutting off the Blue Cross-Blue Shield coverage she and her co-workers had, reasoning that they could find better choices on the new marketplace.

Given her salary, Wilson knew she was eligible for federal subsidies to help pay for her coverage. She was discharged from the hospital on Dec. 23, the insurance sign-up deadline; she did not yet know that CMS had quietly reset its computers to give people one more day to enroll. It had been weeks since the Obama administration had announced that the system was working smoothly, so she could not understand why the HealthCare.gov screen on her laptop, which should have calculated her subsidy, stubbornly refused to appear. She asked her boyfriend to try on his computer and her father to try on his. Nothing worked.

She called HealthCare.gov’s toll-free number, where, she said, a woman on the other end tried typing and then told her, “Well, it’s not working for me either.” The woman recommended that she choose a health plan at the too-high price and file an appeal. Since her Blue Cross coverage would end Dec. 31, she went back onto HealthCare.gov and picked a plan.

A failure to compute a subsidy is among a variety of mistakes the computer system has made. Another involves what some CMS and state Medicaid officials refer to as “loopers.” These are people who applied for coverage on HealthCare.gov and were told that their income was low enough to qualify for Medicaid. But when they went to their state Medicaid agency, they were told they were not eligible after all, and should get a private health plan through the marketplace. So they have “looped” back to the federal system, which is unable to fix the mistake.

The letter from the National Health Law Program describes families who are appealing for other reasons. In one instance, a North Carolina couple were told that they were eligible for subsidies to buy private policies and that their son was eligible for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which is public insurance for children of working-class families. But the computer told them that their daughter was eligible for nothing — an obvious mistake. At the time of the letter, the family was uninsured while waiting for a decision on its appeal.

In Fairmont, Wilson is waiting, too. In early January, she contacted her new health plan about her missing subsidy and asked what to do. She was told to pay the full insurance premium — $215 a month. She did. The next day, Brandon Williams, an enrollment counselor at a local health clinic, helped her check HealthCare.gov again. This time, the computer worked properly and showed that, with the subsidy, her monthly premium should be just $106 and her yearly deductible $617, not $4,750.

Wilson and Williams called the online marketplace and, after three hours on the phone, got only a promise from a supervisor that Wilson would hear from CMS’s “advance resolution team” within five days. The call didn’t come.

Wilson’s scheduled outpatient surgery turned into an expensive, five-day hospital stay after her doctors discovered her gallbladder had gangrene. Home after the ordeal, and dreading the hospital bill and her big deductible, Wilson called Williams, and they tried to reach the advance resolution team. They couldn’t get through. When the call from the team finally came, she said, a knowledgeable-sounding man told her, “The system is not set up to go into someone’s account and correct a mistake.”

With Williams’s help, she has filed an appeal. And she is waiting — waiting to be healed enough to drive so she can go back to work, waiting for someone to decide that she deserves her money back.

“These little kinks should have been worked out prior to this thing being launched,” she said. “This is one more thing stressing me out.”
This victim of Obamcare confronts the president. Again, don't feel sorry for him. He got what he voted for...

The Battle to Raise the Minimum Wage Explained by Obama

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