Transparency, Costs, Choices – A Trifecta!

Plan-B-Obama-Truck-ROHBarth Bracy is the head of the Rhode Island Right to Life Committee and a resident of Dayville, Connecticut.

He is also a man who was notified that his $494 a month health care insurance plan which he obtained through Blue Cross and Blue Shield would be cancelled because it did not meet certain requirements under the Affordable Care Act.

After being notified of the impending cancellation of his policy, Bracy went looking for a similar plan.

He and his wife, Abbie — also a plaintiff

in the suit — could buy a health plan through Access Health CT, Connecticut’s Obamacare health exchange, and pay far less than they pay for the BlueCross BlueShield plan — as little as $2.63 per month. But Bracy says that’s no option at all, because all the plans offered through the exchange require enrollees to pay a nominal fee for coverage of abortions.

They could buy insurance independently, without going through the Connecticut exchange, but without the federal subsidies that are helping to make the exchange plans affordable, the cheapest plan would cost about $900 per month — nearly double the cost of their BlueCross BlueShield plan, and more than they can afford, Bracy said.

Or, if they do not sign up for insurance, they face fines that could rise to more than $1,000 per year, he said.

Bracy, who is devoutly Catholic, is obviously against abortion. His plan under Blue Cross and Blue Shield did not cover abortions. That was his choice. In a world where abortion proponents are called “pro-choice,” one would think that people (including the government) would support his choice not only to not have his insurance premiums cover abortions for him, but cover abortions for anyone else. He didn’t want his money being used to fund an activity which he is against.

The Health Law That Contiunues To Make the Economy Sick.

ACA-on-Flag-ROHWe’ve been stockpiling a few notes and things on the Affordable Care Act also known as “ObamaCare” and thought this might be a good time to mention a few of them.

First, remember how one of the reasons for passing the ACA was because of emergency room visits by the uninsured? We always thought that there was something missing in that argument that we did not understand. The rational was that when uninsured people go to the emergency room and do not pay for those visits, the costs are passed onto other consumers. Insurance for all, went the argument, would lower the costs to consumers.

Insurance is based on the premise of spreading out costs amongst a large group of people. So whether others were paying in the form of higher costs from the hospital or bearing that same cost in paying for insurance, there is no practical difference. Furthermore, the people that were going to the emergency room for non-emergency care were doing so because they did not have a regular doctor. This was mostly poor people who – the same poor people whose health insurance is fully subsidized by others.

It can be argued that there is no difference between the cost of an emergency room visit to others is the same whether the patient has insurance of subsidized insurance.

But in a totally predicable result, states are seeing more visits to emergency rooms – not fewer.

This is the same thing that happened in Massachusetts, Canada and England. The number of emergency room visits rose with universal health care. The underlying reason seems to be that when minor accidents or health issues arise, instead of getting an over the counter remedy from a drug store, people will visit the emergency room.

A new study published in Science Mag notes the same thing happened in Oregon where the number of emergency room visits has increased – not decreased – as promised in the passage of the ACA.

The New York Times took note of the study as well:

Supporters of President Obama’s health care law had predicted that expanding insurance coverage for the poor would reduce costly emergency room visits because people would go to primary care doctors instead. But a rigorous new experiment in Oregon has raised questions about that assumption, finding that newly insured people actually went to the emergency room a good deal more often.

The study, published in the journal Science, compared thousands of low-income people in the Portland area who were randomly selected in a 2008 lottery to get Medicaid coverage with people who entered the lottery but remained uninsured. Those who gained coverage made 40 percent more visits to the emergency room than their uninsured counterparts during their first 18 months with insurance.

The pattern was so strong that it held true across most demographic groups, times of day and types of visits, including those for conditions that were treatable in primary care settings.

Where are the savings to people that the ACA was going to provide from the number of unpaid / unfunded emergency room visits? The costs of emergency rooms visits is still being spread out and the number of visits is going up.

News From The ACA Front.

Affordable-Care-Act-Pills-ROH The Affordable Care Act (ACA also known as “ObamaCare”) continues to make the news for all the wrong reasons.

While there have been all sorts of articles on the Federal website not working, the numbers of people who have actually signed up and paid for the care not being announced, and the repeated rollbacks of dates set by the law, we aren’t going to cover those topics at all.

At least four of the states who decided to establish their own web portals into the ACA plans have seen the heads of the health care agencies resign. Those states include Hawaii, Minnesota, Maryland and Oregon.

Oregon and Maryland have been particularly troublesome with charges of corruption and misspent funds being leveled in every direction.

Now the State of Maryland is facing a federal audit into the less than stellar state exchange website.

A federal inspector general is launching a review into what went wrong with Maryland’s health insurance exchange, the first examination focused specifically on how millions of dollars in federal money was spent by the state, according to the lawmaker who requested the probe.

Rep. Andy Harris, a Baltimore County Republican and vocal opponent of President Barack Obama’s health care law, said officials with the inspector general for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services had contacted him and indicated they will look into the creation of the state’s glitch-prone exchange.

The probe, which Harris said would likely begin in a matter of weeks, is the first of its kind to be revealed publicly. It comes days after the U.S. Government Accountability Office said it would review the formation of state-based insurance exchanges — though experts say an inspector general’s examination is usually more exhaustive and specific.

Broken Promises.

“What the *Blank* Could Possibly Go Wrong?”

Dr. Barbara Ruth Bellar is a small business owner, physician, Veteran Army Major, professor, and attorney. She also happens to be a Republican running for election to the State Senate in Illinois.

In a video that has gone somewhat viral, she said this about ObamaCare at a recent political event:

“So let me get this straight. This is a long sentence.

We are going to be gifted with a health care plan that we are forced to purchase, and fined if we don’t, which reportedly covers 10 million more people without adding a single new doctor, but provides for 16,000 new IRS agents, written by a committee whose chairman doesn’t understand it, passed by Congress, that didn’t read it, but exempted themselves from it, and signed by a president who smokes, with funding administered by a treasury chief who didn’t pay his taxes, for which we will be taxed for four years before any benefits take effect, by a government which has bankrupted Social Security and Medicare, all to be overseen by a surgeon general who is obese and financed by a country that is broke.

So what the blank could possibly go wrong?”

A classic.

Secretary of Health And Human Services Kathleen Sebelius Appears In Front Of Congress. A Sad Sort of Hilarity Ensues.

On April 26, 2012, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius appeared before Congress to talk about the Obama administration’s proposed health mandate which forces religious institutions to purchase methods of contraception even if it is against the religious beliefs of a group. During the hearing, she Sebelius was questioned by Congressman Trey Gowdy, who represents the 4th District of South Carolina.

It now occurs to us that it may be good to have health care for people like Sebelius because a veritable bloodbath ensued during the questioning.

We took note in February of this year that President Obama, Secretary Sebelius and White House Spokesman Jay Carney all said the mandate was a correct “balance” between religious freedom and health care. During his questioning, Representative Gowdy asks Sebelius what tests or information she relied upon to determine what was a correct “balance.”

The Catholic News Agency highlights some of the exchange:

Law Students, Sex, And Economics.

Sandra Fluke is a law student attending Georgetown University. On Thursday, February 22, 2012 Ms. Fluke appeared before a “Democrats only” “hearing” on the issue of forcing religious institutions to cover abortions and contraception in health plans even if those items are against the religious and moral teachings of the institution.

For all intents and purposes, this was dog and pony show to continue the Democrats fight against the First Amendment and religious freedom. Ms. Fluke was the only person “testifying” at the hearing which was chaired by former Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

During the hearing:

Fluke said women at Catholic schools expect to “be treated equally,” expect to have “all of our medical needs” met, and expect the university to “respect our choices” on health insurance.

“We did not expect that women would be told in the national media that we should have gone to school elsewhere,” Fluke said.

“And even if that meant going to a less prestigious university, we refuse to pick between a quality education and our health. And we resent that in the 21st century, anyone think it’s acceptable to ask us to make this choice simply because we are women.”

Let’s examine those statements one by one.

Ms. Fluke says she expects to “be treated equally.” As far as we know, Ms. Fluke is being treated no different than any other student on campus. Her medical coverage is the same as anyone else. What Ms. Fluke is really saying is she demands the school do what she wants and go against the school’s moral and religious teachings.

“Do It Our Way Or Else” Is Not A “Balance.”

There are times when we really feel sorry for White House Press Secretary Jay Carney. After all, he appears to be intelligent and yet at the same time as Press Secretary, he has to defend some of the dumbest things from the Obama administration. Then again, he took the job knowing there would be times when he had to pay the fiddler for the lack of intelligent dance songs Obama often tries to play.

Case in point is the administration’s decision to demand religious institutions cover medical procedures and health items which are against the religious institution’s beliefs.

Last week Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced religious institutions will have one year to comply with regulations under the Affordable Care Act (also known as ObamaCare) which require health insurance to include contraception and the so called “morning after pill,” which many believe is a abortion pill.

Contraception and abortions are long held by many religious institutions such as the Roman Catholic Church to be against the teachings of the Bible. The Roman Catholic Church has been clear on the matter. To them, contraception and abortion are contrary to their faith.

In making the announcement, Sebelius said:

“I believe this proposal strikes the appropriate balance between respecting religious freedom and increasing access to important preventive services.”

We fail to see any “balance” between the government demanding a religion go against its beliefs in violation of the First Amendment to comply with an arbitrary rule for “health care” which is no where to be found in the Constitution.

This past Sunday, in response to Sebelius’ and Obama’s announcement, letters such as this one from Bishop Alexander K. Sample were read to Catholic congregations around the country:

« Previous Entries