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This site is the inspiration of a former reporter/photographer for one of New England's largest daily newspapers and for various magazines. The intent is to direct readers to interesting political articles, and we urge you to visit the source sites. Any comments may be noted on site or directed to KarisChaf at gmail.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Tough Weekend for Dallas Cowboys Fans. Tougher Weekend for Obamacare -- By Jim Geraghty, National Review

The insured are finding their premiums, deductibles, and copays are going up, and their spousal coverage is disappearing – and they’re not happy about it.
AP:
Americans who already have health insurance are blaming President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul for their rising premiums and deductibles, and overall 3 in 4 say the rollout of coverage for the uninsured has gone poorly.

In the survey, nearly half of those with job-based or other private coverage say their policies will be changing next year — mostly for the worse. Nearly 4 in 5 (77 percent) blame the changes on the Affordable Care Act, even though the trend toward leaner coverage predates the law’s passage.

Sixty-nine percent say their premiums will be going up, while 59 percent say annual deductibles or copayments are increasing.

Only 21 percent of those with private coverage said their plan is expanding to cover more types of medical care, though coverage of preventive care at no charge to the patient has been required by the law for the past couple of years.

Fourteen percent said coverage for spouses is being restricted or eliminated, and 11 percent said their plan is being discontinued.

“Rightly or wrongly, people with private insurance looking at next year are really worried about what is going to happen,” said Robert Blendon, a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, who tracks public opinion on health care issues. “The website is not the whole story.”

But at least the uninsured are happier, right? Nope, not really.

Uninsured Americans have soured on the Affordable Care Act in the past three months – and that bodes ill for the law’s popularity and financial underpinnings.

Less than a quarter—24%—of uninsured Americans think the health care law is a good idea, and half think it’s a bad idea, according to a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released Wednesday. That’s an 11-point dive in support from three months ago, when a September poll — before the troubled rollout of  the HealthCare.gov marketplace –found that 35% of the uninsured thought it was a good idea, and 32% thought it was a bad idea.

The claims of a fixed web site, coming through the weekend from the administration, don’t match what the insurance companies are reporting:

Insurers said they had found many discrepancies and errors and that the government was overstating the improvements in HealthCare.gov.

In some cases, they said, the federal government reported that the home address for a new policyholder was outside an insurer’s service area. In other cases, a child was listed as the main subscriber—the person responsible for paying premiums—and parents were listed as dependents.
In some cases, children were enrolled in a policy by the federal government and parents were left off, or vice versa. In other cases, the government botched up the members of a family: A child or spouse was listed two or three times in the same application in late November. Such errors can have financial implications, increasing the amount of premiums that a family is required to pay.
While some of the problems were discovered in the last few days, insurers said that they had previously reported many of the errors to the “help desk” at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and that the problems remained unresolved.
Federal officials, insurers and health care providers said they were concerned about confusion and possible chaos in the early days of January, when people try to use the new insurance coverage they believe they have.

Hear that? “Chaos.” We’ve got good seats with an unobstructed view of America’s Medical Armageddon.
Meanwhile, remember the worries from a few weeks ago about whether volunteer fire departments are required to offer health insurance to their firefighters? Those fire departments are still waiting for answers from the administration and IRS
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