"Real liberty is neither found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments.
Alexander Hamilton

Monday, May 23, 2016

Obamacare Myths























In light of the recent spate of anti Obamacare comments containing numerous myths about the Affordable Care Act, a proper response seems appropriate. According to this article in the Washington Post "the share of Americans younger than 65 who were uninsured was nearly halved, falling from 18.2 percent to 10.5 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."

Here are some of the more popular (and bizarre) myths with the real facts.

Myth #1:The law is keeping people who work part-time jobs from finding full-time employment
Fact: This began when the Republican National Committee stated a number of years ago,  that over 8 million Americans couldn't find full-time work because of the ACA.
There have been many studies debunking this myth, According to Media Matters for America:  "A new study from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that, contrary to right-wing media assertions, the overwhelming majority of employers have not responded to health insurance mandates in the Affordable Care Act by slashing jobs, converting full-time positions to part-time, or putting off hiring new workers. Fox News and The Wall Street Journal spent years claiming health care reform would threaten American jobs."

Myth # 2: The Affordable Care Act doesn't allow people to choose their doctors, or it doesn't allow them to continue to see the doctors they've been going to for years.
Fact: Before the act was signed into law, opponents argued that the government was going to "take over" the U.S. healthcare system.
The ACA doesn't actually provide insurance coverage to anyone  and as a result it doesn't decide which doctors people can and can't see. Employers are free to reconfigure their coverage options under the ACA just as they could before it became law. Health care costs have been rising for many years and employers long before the ACA would seek out plans and options to reduce the cost to themselves and their employees. Some of those plans, then and now, would require as a cost savings, staying within a certain network of providers.

Myth # 3: The ACA requires that microchips be implanted into all patients.
Fact: According to FactCheck.org, this probably came about because of a proposed provision not included in the bill that was signed into law, that would have set up registry for certain kinds of implantable medical devices like artificial heart valves and cerebral shunts. No one has or will be " chipped".

Myth # 4: The Affordable Care Act (ACA) contains a "death panel" provision,
Fact:You have to love Sarah Palin. No provision of the "Obamacare" health care legislation mandates or authorizes the creation of "ethics panels" to determine which patients should or should not receive various medical treatments, based on their age or any other criteria. A rational and responsible national conversation about preparing for death and end-of-life care has been virtually impossible over the past six years because of the "death panel" myth. An early draft of the ACA included a provision to reimburse doctors for talking with the Medicare patients about advanced directives and end-of-life care. That was purposely misconstrued by Ms. Palin into " death panels" and the myth continues to this day. Case in point is comment 1/1 yesterday by anonymous to this post.

Myth #5: Obamacare forces Americans to consent to home inspections.
Fact: No one related to the U.S. government will be coming to your home under the ACA.  If you meet certain requirements,  there is a voluntary program for expectant or new parents, administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration and the Administration for Children and Families who will provide prenatal advice.


Myth # 6: ObamaCare Subsidizes Americans Who Don’t Want to Work.
Facts:The main group who will benefit from the ACA is the working poor. Americans with little or no income would have already had access to Medicaid long before the ACA. As with all public assistance programs that aid our nation's poorest, it is a small minority of Americans who abuse the system.

Myth #7: Medicaid Isn’t Good; or People Don’t Want Medicaid; or Medicaid is too Expensive.
Fact: The ACA expanded Medicaid to 15 million low-income Americans. A number of states opted out of supporting Medicaid expansion, even though the federal Government provided 100% of funding for the first 3 years. Millions of Americans in those states will go without any type of health care because of the myth that Medicaid isn’t quality insurance.

Myth # 8: The ACA calls for armed IRS agents to enforce penalties.
Fact:the IRS won’t be sending armed agents to enforce the health care mandate, as falsely claimed by Texas GOP Rep. Ron Paul. The law specifically waives any criminal penalties for those who both decline to obtain insurance coverage and refuse to pay the tax enacted to penalize lack of coverage



10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Myth #1: The law is keeping people who work part-time jobs from finding full-time employment
Fact: This is true. A lot of people had their hours cut so their employers would not have to insure.

Myth # 2: The Affordable Care Act doesn't allow people to choose their doctors, or it doesn't allow them to continue to see the doctors they've been going to for years.
Fact: This is absolutely true. Two friends undergoing aggressive cancer treatment were cut off from their doctors at Brigham and Womens Hospital and had to find less desirable alternatives.

Myth # 3: The ACA requires that microchips be implanted into all patients.
Fact: According to FactCheck.org, this probably came about because of a proposed provision not included in the bill that was signed into law, that would have set up registry for certain kinds of implantable medical devices like artificial heart valves and cerebral shunts. No one has or will be " chipped". (Yes this is correct and I've had to inform people many time about it. In fact irony has it that the woman who is the expert on 'chips' is the one who corrects people, and she is the one who lost her coverage for cancer)

Myth # 4: The Affordable Care Act (ACA) contains a "death panel" provision,
Fact: Obamacare crafters admit now that what we call 'death panels' are technically names IPABs and CERs and they do determine who can get what treatment and at what price. Proponents of rationing were rife among Obama's advsiers, one in particular was Cass Sunstein who proposed that people ages 15-45 were the ones to be considered for the bulk of our health care dolllars.

Anonymous said...

Nominated by President Barack Obama to administer and head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) within the White House Office of Management and Budget is Cass Sunstein.

- Currently serves as one of President Obama’s 39 “Czars.” Sunstein has been “appointed” the “Regulatory Czar.”
- Law Professor at the University of Chicago Law School.
- Served on the Council of Academic Advisors for the AEI-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies.
- Helped Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) lead the efforts to stop the confirmation of Presisent George W. Bush’s judicial nominees.
- Has written 35 books since 1990, many of which advocate for causes such as radical animal rights, human euthanasia as a major component of health care reform legislation, federal laws advocating for ‘presumed consent’ rather than ‘explicit consent’ for organ donation to science, and censoring the freedom of speech, particularly on the internet.

Issue Areas of Concern: End-of-life/health care policies, animal rights vs. human rights, freedom of speech, organ donation.

1. End-of-Life Advocacy/Philosophy

- June 2003, authored and published a paper entitled, “Lives, Life Years, and Willingness to Pay.”

- Argues that human life varies in value.

- Advocates for government bureaucracy to rely on the “value of a statistical life year” when doing cost-benefit analysis as opposed to the “value of a statistical life.”

- He states that this would “likely result in significantly lower [health] benefits calculations for elderly people, and significantly higher benefits calculations for children.”

- He states: “I urge that the government should indeed focus on life-years rather than lives. A program that saves young people produces more welfare than one that saves old people.”

- Sunstein asserts that the current health care system that focuses on statistic lives, rather than life years, is “a form of illicit discrimination […] because the idea of statistical lives treats the years of older people as worth far more than the years of younger people.

- Sunstein’s views on cost-effectiveness analysis is worrisome at best, especially since as head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, he will play a major role in defining the government’s handling of health care.

- He will be just one major player in the massive bureaucracy needed to regulate the very loosely-defined H.R. 3200, Obama’s proposed health care plan.

- Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, brother of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, is one member who will serve on the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research, which has already been approved and signed into law via H.R. 1 (the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, a.k.a. the “stimulus” bill).

- Emanuel has written suspiciously similar statements to those of Sunstein about why health care should be rationed for the elderly:

- “Unlike allocation by sex or race, allocation by age is not invidious discrimination; every person lives through different life stages rather than being a single age. Even if 25-year-olds receive priority over 65-year olds, everyone who is 65 years now was previously 25 years.”

Anonymous said...

Myth #5: Obamacare forces Americans to consent to home inspections.
Fact: Many government programs require home visits, such as the pre-K program in Mass. Children attend classes on Tues-Friday, and teachers visit homes on Mondays.

Myth # 6: ObamaCare Subsidizes Americans Who Don’t Want to Work.
Facts: Many Americans who lost their plans and now cannot afford the 25%-50% increases in premiums, prefer to pay the fine to the IRS than pay these exorbitant rates.

Myth #7: Medicaid Isn’t Good; or People Don’t Want Medicaid; or Medicaid is too Expensive.
Fact: NH's liberals just passed a Medicaid expansion bill that will likely cause us to have to institute a state income tax.

Myth # 8: The ACA calls for armed IRS agents to enforce penalties.
Fact: The IRS does enforce collection of 'taxes' and when you fail to pay, the IRS sends and agent who IN FACT is armed, to your door. I can vouch for this having been through the process myself.

Moultonboro Blogger said...

Anon- you arguments against real facts are all non sequitur's. Your errors are to numerous to address. The facts are that the ACA has been successful and would be more successful if the GOP would collaborate rather than obstruct. They can't even admit that the ACA is working.

Rational Thinker said...

The Tea Party has turned my party of Lincoln into an embarrassment. Sadly we have a branch right here in Moultonborough that meet in our library and attempt to indoctrinate their paranoid conspiracies onto anyone dumb enough to listen.

Anonymous said...

Myth #9: the death panels, ....oh the death panels....JK.

Many more folks are covered, resulting in less deaths, due to illness!

This seems like an important one. Can we move this to Myth #1?!

And pre-existing conditions don't exist anymore! Another one for the consumers rights!

I'm with Rational Thinker on this one!

Anonymous said...

If youngsters don't kick in, it doesn't work. If people who have never been to a Doctor for 20+ years suddenly go for the first time., then they are sicker than actuarial folks anticipated, if companies push employees out to exchanges then the companies win and the employees pay more...the insurers anti patted high volume new insured, but it hasn't, as predicted by some , worked out that way. Local well-intended folks really don't understate nuances of the economics but they will in time. These blogs just underscore the gap between good intentions and reality. Keep blogging away!

Moultonboro Blogger said...

Rather condescending anon at 10:18. And not accurate. Of course you apparently think you know more than anyone "locally" about this issue, but clearly do not. Not mentioned is the right wing obstruction and lack of any cooperative attempt to fine tune the ACA.
The fact that here in low population NH there has been a very significant savings to hospitals in decreased uncompensated care.
Some of us "locals" by the way have been in the health care business for nearly 4 decades as a provider and in senior leadership positions. You do remember what happens when you assume?

Anonymous said...

You may want to revisit this issue, Paul, in response to recent news: Aetna and premium increases across the country. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-08-15/obamacare-sticker-shock-average-2017-premium-surges-24

If you like your ______, you can keep your ______!

Brent Anderson

Moultonboro Blogger said...

Sounds like it is working for many NH residents.

At the end of 2015 in New Hampshire, 53,005 consumers selected or were automatically re-enrolled in quality, affordable health insurance coverage/ Nationwide, nearly 11.7 million consumers selected a plan or were automatically enrolled in Marketplace coverage.

Marketplace Signups and Tax Credits in New Hampshire:

70 percent of New Hampshire consumers who were signed up qualified for an average tax credit of $244 per month through the Marketplace.
43 percent of New Hampshire Marketplace enrollees obtained coverage for $100 or less after any applicable tax credits in 2015, and 82 percent had the option of doing so.
In New Hampshire, consumers could choose from 5 issuers in the Marketplace in 2015 – up from 1 in 2014.
New Hampshire consumers could choose from an average of 38 health plans in their county for 2015 coverage – up from 10 in 2014.
16,918 consumers in New Hampshire under the age of 35 are signed up for Marketplace coverage (32 percent of plan selections in the state). And 12,689 consumers 18 to 34 years of age (24 percent of all plan selections) are signed up for Marketplace coverage.