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Old 06-12-2010, 11:51 PM   #631
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That's funny coming from the two of you, the Kings of fleeing once a question gets too tough

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However, the source conceded: "It is difficult to predict how plans and employers will behave in the coming years, but if plans make changes that negatively impact consumers, then they will lose their grandfather status."
Republican staffers talking about rumors, etc, etc...

A lot of speculation. Personally, I think we'll see some big ammendments before things start going in effect.
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Old 06-13-2010, 12:47 AM   #632
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Personally, I think we'll see some big ammendments before things start going in effect.
Like a complete repeal.

So how's come the "doctor fix" wasn't in the actual Health Care Reform Bill passed earlier this year? Why were Republican amendments to do so defeated?
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Old 06-13-2010, 01:04 AM   #633
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Not a complete repeal, I still don't understand how you of all people don't understand the need for this... but you won't answer THAT question.

Why weren't the Republican "ammendments" defeated? Well to be honest, they sucked.
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Old 06-17-2010, 06:29 PM   #634
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Karl Rove: The Bad News About ObamaCare Keeps Piling Up - WSJ.com

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This was brought home to me when I asked the CEO of a major restaurant chain about health reform's effect on his company, which now spends $25 million a year on employee health insurance. That will jump to at least $90 million a year once the new law is phased in. It will be cheaper, he told me, for the company to dump its coverage and pay a fine—$2,000 for each full-time worker—and make sure that no part-time employee accidentally worked 31 hours and thereby incurred the fine.

This reality is settling in at businesses across America. A Midwestern contractor told me he pays $588,000 for health insurance for 70 employees, contributing up to $8,400 a year for a family's coverage. If he stops providing health insurance, he'll pay $2,000 per employee in fines, and the first 40 employees are exempt from fines altogether.

Employees who lose coverage get to select a policy from a government-sponsored insurance marketplace called the "exchange." This will be subsidized by taxpayers. Depending on his income, a worker will have to pay between 8% and 9.8% of the cost.

But there are a few hitches. Employers now pay for employee health plans with pre-tax dollars, but workers who buy into one on the exchange pay with after-tax dollars. Families making less than $30,000 and individuals making less than $15,000 a year will be dumped into Medicaid, widely viewed as second-class health care.

Either Mr. Obama was stunningly blind to these perverse effects when he promised people could keep their coverage, or he felt that admitting his plan would collapse employer-provided health coverage could keep it from passing. Either way—self-deception or deliberate deceit—health reform is going to turn out far differently than was promised. And because more workers will be dumped into subsidized coverage, taxpayers are likely to pay much more than the $1 trillion-plus price tag claimed by ObamaCare advocates for its first 10 years.

It doesn't end there. Another way the new health reform will have consequences that are the opposite of what was promised can be found in new draft regulations (its Interim Final Rule) from the Department of Health and Human Services. The proposed rules could cause as many as half of all workers to lose their existing coverage.

Health-care plans that existed before the new law are "grandfathered" with regard to some of its provisions. The rules released Monday spell out how little these plans can change without losing their protected status.

Health plans would no longer be grandfathered if a business changes insurance companies (a common practice when employers shop for lower prices), raises deductibles more than 5%, drops any existing benefits, or even increases co-pays by as little as $5.

Complying with these new rules would raise costs for companies who provide coverage, reduce competition among health insurance companies, and discourage efforts to make employees more price conscious. The Obama administration itself estimates that these draft rules could cost up to 80% of small employers and 64% of large employers their grandfathered status. This translates to between 87 million and 115 million Americans losing their current coverage.
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Old 06-17-2010, 06:40 PM   #635
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CEO of a major restaurant chain
I think this bit is worth taking into account. I don't exactly have sympathy for CEOs who whine about maybe having to pay a bit more-if they're running major businesses, I'm guessing they're able to afford parting with a bit of their earnings.

And I find it really hard to believe Karl Rove is all that concerned about middle class people like my family (who would be on the lower end of the middle class, upper-middle class we are not).

Also, Medicaid is a "second-class" health program? Again, were it not for Medicaid/Medicare, my family'd be really screwed in terms of hospital bills right now. They helped pay off quite a bit of our burden of bills.

Angela
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Old 06-17-2010, 06:50 PM   #636
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Maybe it will force private sector health insurance and employers to become competitive again. What a concept...

Maybe privatie sector insurance will actually become truly competitive instead of working in cahoots to drive up health costs like they have for decades.
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Old 06-17-2010, 07:41 PM   #637
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Why would it cost companies more to insure their workers under the new law?
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Old 06-17-2010, 07:57 PM   #638
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I think this bit is worth taking into account. I don't exactly have sympathy for CEOs who whine about maybe having to pay a bit more-if they're running major businesses, I'm guessing they're able to afford parting with a bit of their earnings.
Maybe they can afford it, maybe not. Smaller companies are less able to afford it. But in the end it's simply cheaper to pay the fines and dump their employees' coverage. It's reality and it's incentivized under this legislation. It calls into question the promise that you can keep your own insurance if you like it.

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Also, Medicaid is a "second-class" health program? Again, were it not for Medicaid/Medicare, my family'd be really screwed in terms of hospital bills right now. They helped pay off quite a bit of our burden of bills.
Angela
True, but doctors increasingly turn away Medicaid patients due to the poor reimbursement rate. Particularly specialists. A doctor's office can't run at a loss.

What about the promise not to increase taxes to families making under $250K? Or $200K, or $175K...how far was the bar lowered? The individual mandate is a new tax for everyone.
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Old 06-17-2010, 08:16 PM   #639
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It calls into question the promise that you can keep your own insurance if you like it.
But really, employer-provided insurance really isn't MINE to begin with. What assurances did I have that my employer wouldn't choose to drop coverage for me prior to this law?
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Old 06-17-2010, 10:45 PM   #640
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True, but doctors increasingly turn away Medicaid patients due to the poor reimbursement rate. Particularly specialists. A doctor's office can't run at a loss.

my cardiopulmonologist has just announced that they will be unable to accept my private insurance.

there's another doctor i see who likewise refuses my private insurance.
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Old 06-17-2010, 11:15 PM   #641
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and there's this:


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Maine predicts cost savings with new health reform law
6/15/10 | 30 comments
By Mal Leary
Capitol News Service
AUGUSTA, Maine — A state analysis of the impact of the new federal health reform law indicates it will cost Maine in the near term, but will save the state tens of millions of dollars a year after it is fully implemented in 2014.

“This is a far-reaching projection and it assumes what we know today,” Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Brenda Harvey said. “There are also some policy decisions that will need to be made that will impact these estimates.”

If the state adopts all of the changes assumed in the analysis, which was conducted by DHHS, the net savings to the state in 2014 is an estimated $31.8 million.

The new health law makes major changes in the Medicaid system that provides health insurance coverage to the poor — including the working poor. The changes are funded through several changes in tax law and a requirement that drug companies rebate a larger percentage of the cost of drugs sold to the Medicaid program.

Trish Riley, director of the Governor’s Office on Health Policy, said Maine has done a good job in obtaining drug rebates through the program, but the feds are not sharing any part of the increase in rebate revenue. It will cost Maine an estimated $3.5 million a year.

“It takes effect in this year so we will be submitting a change in the supplemental budget to reflect this and we will make changes in the budget proposal going forward,” Harvey said.

The drug rebate is the one area that costs the state over the implementation period of the new health law and continues to cost the state as the new law takes effect.

In total, there are three program areas that will increase state costs by about $6.4 million a year after 2014, according to the DHHS analysis. Those areas are the drug rebates, the cost of covering new Mainers served by Medicaid, and a provision in the law that extends health insurance coverage for people in the state’s foster care system to age 26.

But, depending on decisions made by the next governor and Legislature on how to offer health care to children, childless adults and parents with incomes over 133 percent of the federal poverty level, the state could save tens of million of dollars a year. The current 133 percent of poverty income cap for a family of four is about $29,000 a year.

For example, Riley said, continuing the Children’s Health Insurance Program will save the state nearly $13 million in 2014 because the matching rate for the program will be far better under the new federal law.

Under the new law, the federal government will pay 98 percent of the cost. Were it not for the temporary increase in matching rates under the recovery act, Maine would get about two federal dollars for every dollar it spends on Medicaid.

Expanding Medicaid to cover all childless adults under the new federal health law increases the state’s match rate for those Mainers and would save the state over the current program that caps enrollment. The estimated savings in 2014 are $14.6 million.

Another major area of savings would be if the state shifts its coverage of parents with incomes over 133 percent of the federal poverty level from Medicaid to the new health insurance exchange set up under federal law. In 2014, that change is projected to save the state $10.6 million by shifting those costs.

Riley stressed that the state analysis uses conservative assumptions, and that the state could realize significantly larger savings based on other estimates.

Maine predicts cost savings with new health reform law - Bangor Daily News

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Old 06-17-2010, 11:51 PM   #642
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For example, Riley said, continuing the Children’s Health Insurance Program will save the state nearly $13 million in 2014 because the matching rate for the program will be far better under the new federal law.

Under the new law, the federal government will pay 98 percent of the cost. Were it not for the temporary increase in matching rates under the recovery act, Maine would get about two federal dollars for every dollar it spends on Medicaid.

Expanding Medicaid to cover all childless adults under the new federal health law increases the state’s match rate for those Mainers and would save the state over the current program that caps enrollment. The estimated savings in 2014 are $14.6 million.

Another major area of savings would be if the state shifts its coverage of parents with incomes over 133 percent of the federal poverty level from Medicaid to the new [federally subsidized] health insurance exchange set up under federal law. In 2014, that change is projected to save the state $10.6 million by shifting those costs.
Multiply this by 49 and what exactly does this do to the federal debt? And who will ultimately pay for this with higher federal taxes? Mainers !!

Madness !!
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Old 06-18-2010, 12:38 AM   #643
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Multiply this by 49 and what exactly does this do to the federal debt? And who will ultimately pay for this with higher federal taxes? Mainers !!

Madness !!


oh, i see, a bunch of poors and minorities get health care, and now we're worried about federal debt, not when we were shipping off kids to go get TBI's in the desert so that we might see the continuation of the Bush Oedipal Complex.

from a debt perspective, the present system was far worse, a ticking time bomb.
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Old 06-18-2010, 01:29 AM   #644
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Maybe they can afford it, maybe not. Smaller companies are less able to afford it. But in the end it's simply cheaper to pay the fines and dump their employees' coverage. It's reality and it's incentivized under this legislation. It calls into question the promise that you can keep your own insurance if you like it.[/B]
He's the CEO of a major restaurant chain, so if they're major they're likely raking in some nice money, so I should think they'd be able to properly cover people. If the fines are indeed cheaper to pay, though, then I guess get stiffer on the fines, perhaps?

Someone clarify, what exactly are going to be the rules for smaller businesses in terms of health coverage? I know they wanted to try and ease the burden on them, just how much have they been or will they be able to do that?

And ditto BVS's question.

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True, but doctors increasingly turn away Medicaid patients due to the poor reimbursement rate. Particularly specialists. A doctor's office can't run at a loss.
Didn't seem to be a problem for us. Meanwhile, when my dad had private insurance when we lived in Colorado (and he had a fairly good private insurance program), it was a lot harder for him to see doctors because there were certain things that they just wouldn't be able to cover, and so instead of go and get important procedures done, he sometimes had to opt out because if he went that just meant one more massive bill for us to pile on. The fact that he also had to often drive two hours to Denver to get anything done because the hospital that was closer to him didn't have a lot of the facilities or treatments necessary for what he needed didn't help matters, either. Too many costs all around.

Angela
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Old 06-18-2010, 05:54 PM   #645
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oh, i see, a bunch of poors and minorities get health care, and now we're worried about federal debt, not when we were shipping off kids to go get TBI's in the desert so that we might see the continuation of the Bush Oedipal Complex.

from a debt perspective, the present system was far worse, a ticking time bomb.
I read through the interesting Bangor Daily article you posted, a few times actually. Much of the the state's savings seem to come from shifting costs to the federal government.
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