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Six-month-old Hazel Garcia chews a pamphlet at a health insurance enrollment event in Cudahy, California March 27, 2014. More than 6 million people have now signed up for private insurance plans under President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law know
Maybe this will help put to rest the already debunked but still prevalent Republican lie that there are more uninsured people under Obamacare than before. The insurance companies say otherwise.
“I don’t doubt that,” said Jay Gellert, president and CEO of the California-based Health Net, when asked whether there’s any real question that the nation’s insured population has grown.
And about that "death spiral" Republicans are pinning their hopes on, that more old, sick people will sign up and the system will be unsustainable:
[Karen Ignagni, CEO of the trade group America’s Health Insurance Plans] said that the rush of sign-ups late in the Affordable Care Act’s first enrollment period–which ended March 31–were significantly younger than the earliest enrollees.
The actual mix isn't entirely clear yet, Ignani cautioned, but no insurance company seems to be in a panic yet. Nationally, the death spiral isn't something to fear, though it could be in some states or some ratings areas for some insurers. But right now, the health insurance industry seems to feel pretty darned good about Obamacare.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 10:05 AM PDT.

Also republished by Obamacare Saves Lives and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (38+ / 0-)

    "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

    by Joan McCarter on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 10:05:48 AM PDT

  •  I guess Obamacare has fulfilled its promise (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NormAl1792, JBL55, IB JOHN, hbk, thomask, akze29
    But right now, the health insurance industry seems to feel pretty darned good about Obamacare.

    “In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.” Terry Pratchett

    by 420 forever on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 10:09:30 AM PDT

  •  And, once stories like (17+ / 0-)

    this get out, that bubble will be permanently burst.

    Angstadt hoped to work long enough to save the money he needed for surgery, but because he needed surgery, he couldn’t work. What he needed was affordable health insurance – which wouldn’t penalize him for a pre-existing condition – but Angstadt was convinced he “didn’t trust this Obamacare.”

    Eventually, his buddy convinced him to do the smart thing. Angstadt filled out the application, signed up for the Highmark Blue Cross silver PPO plan, and paid his premium of $26.11.

    And it may have very well saved his life.

    I’ve said before, I will always work with anyone who is willing to make this law work even better. But the debate over repealing this law is over. The Affordable Care Act is here to stay. -- President Barack Obama

    by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 10:26:02 AM PDT

  •  The industry SHOULD feel good: tax $ subsidize (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    420 forever, JBL55, IB JOHN

    people buying their products!

  •  One benefit to consumers (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueyescryinintherain, J9, hbk

    In states that have accepted the Medicaid expansion, auto insurance rates should start going down.

    An important argument to make in states like Virginia where the House R's are adamant. We need to start hitting them on cheating us out of better rates!

  •  "death spiral" Republicans are pinning (0+ / 0-)

    Pinning for the Fjords?

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 01:13:03 PM PDT

  •  Another really awful thing about this train wreck (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gtnoah, Peace Missile, J9, 417els

    is that insurers are  actually chasing down diabetics and making them go to their medical appointments and checking up on their diets so they (the insurers) won't have to pay for more expensive care later.  I don't know who singles out these poor diabetics for such outrages.  Life Panels?

    P.S. Dear Ms. Palin et.al.: Stuff it.

  •  the only thing I dislike about Obamacare (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gtnoah

    is that the red states will screw with it and people will have to jump through tons of hoops just to get insurance

    Psychological abuse is real and can actually be prevented. Being stalked by a sociopath. And I don't know what to do about it.

    by Krush on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 01:17:57 PM PDT

  •  Debunked AGAIN (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hbk

    Just about every right wing position is being debunked these days. The lies about ObamaCare are being debunked across the board ("uninsured numbers have increased", "no one has paid", "rates will sky-rocket", "the numbers are cooked", "the healthcare system will collapse", etc., etc., etc.. ACA reality sucks for them.

    But the biggest lie of all, St Ronnie's theory of trickle down economics, is finally, finally, finally being exposed for the turd burger that it has always been.

    "Inequality is the root of social evil." ― Pope Francis

    by GoodGod on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 01:34:13 PM PDT

  •  Nevada is going for permanent (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hbk, akze29, ladybug53

    Open Enrollment. The argument that you have to close enrollment so that people don't wait until they are sick has come up against people clamoring to get covered and insurance companies looking to lock in market share, even at the cost of a few more big payouts for pre-existing conditions.

    California has announced that all of its insurers will be back next year, and three more have filed letters of intent that mean they might enter the market next year.

    So no signs of any "Death Spiral" in the law. Just in Republican Legislatures and Governors preventing people from getting covered, and keeping the rates of uninsurance up in their states, according to Gallup polling.

    Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

    by Mokurai on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 01:36:50 PM PDT

  •  While I'm happy that the ACA appears to be ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Peace Missile

    working for most folks, I have to report that, today, I cancelled my ACA policy that was to have started May 1 and have applied to get my first month's premium back. If my experience is any indicator, we may have eliminated junk insurance only to replace it with junk networks.

    I did my due diligence at the start of the year and found a plan with good coverage that according to the company's own website had a good network of doctors that importantly included my existing PCP and two key specialists that I see on a regular basis. I even checked with my doctors' offices and they confirmed they were in network. After some hassles with signing up and problems ultimately requiring exchange "escalation" my plan was all set to start May 1 and I received my card after paying my premium. Imagine my horror last Friday while I was setting up my online account and went to select my PCP, that he was not on the network. Neither it turned out were the specialists. In fact, based on what I remember from earlier network checking, the network size had shrunk from a couple thousand doctors to only a few hundred within a radius of 30 miles in the Phoenix metro area! Yesterday, I discussed the situation with a company rep and she confirmed what I had seen on the website. She offered to email an actual list of the doctors available with 15 miles. That list showed only a paltry 150 or so. None of my docs were there. In fact, not one ophthalmologist - a key specialty for me - was on the list. This network was going to be useless for me so I reluctantly cancelled today through the exchange and applied with the insurance company to get my money back.

    Fortunately, I never cancelled my existing insurance and will keep that as it's good through December. Its deductible is much higher than I'd wish but I can live with that until open enrollment next fall. Hopefully the dust will have settled by then.

    Just another faggity fag socialist fuckstick homosinner!

    by Ian S on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 01:42:07 PM PDT

    •  You balme the ACA? (0+ / 0-)

      These issues are part of what the ACA is attempting to resolve, and were certainly happening pre-Ocare. The insurance companies may not all yet be in check. Take action to correct it.

      "Inequality is the root of social evil." ― Pope Francis

      by GoodGod on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 01:47:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not blaming the ACA... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hbk, gtnoah

        I hold the insurance company responsible for providing bad information. I'm not sure whether it was intentional or not. If it was intentional, then that would look a lot like fraud to me. That said, there was no real way to judge network robustness within the exchange. I hope that will be remedied by fall's open enrollment.

        Just another faggity fag socialist fuckstick homosinner!

        by Ian S on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 02:15:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The networks blow for the lower-cost plans (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ian S

      While the plans with better networks are more expensive than what I was paying before O'Care. Also, there don't seem to be ANY plan that offers, at any price, out of network coverage.

      I'm hoping things will get better next year, if O'Care proves to be a success.

      I won't lie: I miss my old plan. It was superior, though it did cost more.

      •  Well, the plan I chose was a platinum one... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ladybug53

        and was not that cheap. However no other insurer had anything comparable at the same price. That's why I spent a lot of time with my due diligence but in the end, it was all for naught as the insurance company just shrank the network by about an order of magnitude sometime between the start of the year and now. The company may be in hot water here in Arizona for their practices as there was newspaper coverage on it just this past weekend.

        Regarding out of network coverage, in Arizona, it was there but only with higher deductible and maximum out of pocket doesn't apply to the difference between what the out of network doctor charges and what the plan allows.

        The fact that my plan was rated as platinum with such a meager network indicates that network robustness wasn't a factor in assigning the metal ratings to plans in the exchange. Either that or the ACA folks were hoodwinked too.

        Just another faggity fag socialist fuckstick homosinner!

        by Ian S on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 02:26:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  On the metals: (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ian S, ladybug53

          I think you're right: it's the same network but different premiums, deductible, copays.

          The "big players" in my region were on there, but at  substantial higher costs than I was used to. I ended up going with a new entry that uses the Magnacare network, which isn't that great. I'm hoping with the boost in participants they'll be expanding the network.

    •  Stories of MD's "opting-out" of ACA networks... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      akze29

      have been appearing in local papers in California. The Scripps papers have been playing up the inconvenience to the patients, framing it as "another promise broken" story.

      The San Jose Mercury News described the situation as a game of "chicken" between the physicians and the InsurCo's over reimbursement rates.

      Specialists and doctors serving rural areas have some leverage now, because ACA requires the InsurCo's to maintain networks with prescribed doctor-patient ratios, patient proximity to services, etc.

      This was going on prior to ACA. I recall stories of MD's going to "cash-only" practices, or quitting surgery to do hair transplants, because the InsurCo's were slashing their reimbursements, even while jacking up rates on individual policy holders.

      But that's cold comfort for the subscriber... and it's more ammo for the Repealicans, who are chanting, "you can keep your doctor - period", with greater glee than ever.

      I'm afraid that this contest between doctors and InsurCo's is an unanticipated part of the "rate adjustments" predicted for the first year of ACA... but the problem needs to be acknowledged by the states and HHS... and solutions proposed.

      “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing
      he was never reasoned into” - Jonathan Swift

      by jjohnjj on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 04:10:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I work in insurance (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ladybug53

        And "narrow networks" is a strategy to compete for market share.  The big insurance companies are trying to replicate the Kaiser model -- which is a narrow network in that you have to see Kaiser docs and go to a Kaiser hospital.  Granted with Kaiser, you know that upfront.  

        Bottom line: the bigger the network, the more you pay as a subscriber/member.  

        Hopefully, the more players that enter the exchange, the more options consumers will have to choose from.  Narrow networks may work for some who want the cheapest plans and don't care about changing PCPs or specialists.  But they won't work for everyone.  

        The civil rights, gay rights and women's movements, designed to allow others to reach for power previously grasped only by white men, have made a real difference, and the outlines of 21st century America have emerged. -- Paul West of LA Times

        by LiberalLady on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 04:18:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The spammers think it's over (0+ / 0-)

    I have gotten three spam emails in the past three days, all purporting to be from Blue Cross (but mousing over the "from" field showed otherwise), alerting me that even though the open enrollment period is over, people under special circumstances still have the opportunity to buy health insurance -- and the list of "special circumstances" was accurate as far as I could tell.

    One targetted Kentucky residents, one Indiana, and I didn't read the third one closely, just far enough to know it too was spam.

    It's outrageous that people who need insurance will be enticed into clicking on malware or whatever.

    On the other hand, it says to me that the prevailing narrative about Obamacare has shifted from "It's a terrible anti-American socialist plot that's just another give-away to lazy black people so they'll vote for Obama" to "Hey, you need insurance? Thanks to Obamacare, here's the way you can protect yourself and your family -- it's easy, it's cheap, click here."

  •  I am SHOCKED (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ladybug53

    College students and young people putting things off to the last minute! That NEVER happened when I was in college!

  •  Only death spiral (0+ / 0-)

    is to repeal efforts

    What's the GOP obsession with death any way? Death panels.  Death spirals.

    The civil rights, gay rights and women's movements, designed to allow others to reach for power previously grasped only by white men, have made a real difference, and the outlines of 21st century America have emerged. -- Paul West of LA Times

    by LiberalLady on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 04:07:37 PM PDT

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