http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/10/27/us/is-the-affordable-care-act-working.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=c-column-middle-span-region®ion=c-column-middle-span-region&WT.nav=c-column-middle-span-region – /
The NY Times is out shilling for the Democrat party this weekend before Election Day. Smug elitists will read the bullet points and pretend to know the data.
FOR INSTANCE this, the first bullet point: “HAS THE NUMBER OF UNINSURED PEOPLE BEEN REDUCED?”
The NY Snides will pompously rebut Conservative critics of Obamacare by glibly asserting, “The number of Americans Without Health Insurance is Down by About 25 Percent”.
I doubt more than 25% of NYT readers will read beyond the first paragraph. And I bet they, the Times, know that. So the vast majority of the intilektchuals will not have read the third paragraph. “Of that total, it appears that more than half of people who are newly insured signed up for Medicaid…”
AND even IF the percentage of uninsured is decreased by 6-8% the question ought be AT WHAT COST?
The Second Bullet Point to listen for is “HAS INSURANCE UNDER THE LAW BEEN AFFORDABLE?”
The NYT says, “When President Obama signed the measure in 2010, he pledged that it would protect Americans from ruinously high medical bills by guaranteeing them access to comprehensive — and affordable — coverage.” WAIT A MINUTE Mr. New York Snide; there is a BAIT AND SWITCH in the very sentence! NOTICE THE DELIBERATE CONFLATION of “Medical Bills” and “affordable coverage”.
You might (but I know no one who has) pay less of a premium BUT you will PAY MORE for Co-pay, and Prescriptions.
IN addition the Slimes are comparing apples and lemons. Most Obamacare Plans do NOT cover elite hospitals and medical centers: not Sloan-Kettering for instance in NYC. THERE IS NO FREE LUNCH. Those who promise it are scamming you!
On this Second Bullet Point The Times conveniently provides a summary “WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW”. (Yes, what you need to now to confound conservative critics of Obamacare is my guess.
Here is “what you need to know”: *Of the 7.3 million people who signed up for private insurance through online exchanges during the first enrollment period, 85 percent qualified for federal subsidies that decreased the cost of their premiums.
Though many people have found policies with affordable premiums, high deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs have discouraged some people from using their insurance.
Early rate filings by insurers in 21 states suggest that rates will vary widely, but the median premium increases for 2015 for silver plans will be around 4 percent and there will be more insurers in the market. But consumers will need to shop around to keep their costs down.
Insurers are expected to continue trying to control costs by restricting consumers from using doctors out of their network. *
These points are meant to be positive comments about 0’care. Silver Plans will herd their plebeian buyers into smaller and smaller pools of doctors and make seeing a specialist very difficult. If you like your doctor maybe you will see him in the supermarket and you can say Howdy, but you will not see him in his office.
The Intilektchual posers will read the “WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW” to pretend to be knowledgeable and will not read the body of the article. In this slimy way the NY Snide editors can signal the talking points, but protect their own shrinking credibility.
3rd Bullet: “Did the Affordable Care Act improve health outcomes?” Notice in lighter gray beneath the question a subtitle “To Gauge Impact on Nation’s Health, More Time Will Be Needed”. Oh. In other words it is unknown. Their first paragraph “Of all the pledges made for the Affordable Care Act — that it would reduce the number of uninsured or make insurance more affordable, for instance — perhaps the loftiest and hardest to demonstrate was that it would make the nation healthier” is plagued by the fundamental flaw of leftist philosophy. That flaw is considering “the nation” to have the same qualities as individuals. If we were to take the nation’s temperature, so to speak, with an old-fashioned thermometer would we place it in DC, or Newark, or Gary, IN? The “nation” is an abstraction; it is a term that is handy for considering a collective. But it is only INDIVIDUALS that might be healthier or not!
The Times gives us again “WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW” (again with my “in order to appear to be knowledgeable” refrain.
*Most experts say there is not enough data yet on the entire population to determine whether the law is improving the nation’s health.
The best early data is on young people, and it suggests that the law is benefiting that group by allowing them to stay on their parents’ insurance. The share of 19- to 25-year-olds without health insurance declined to 21 percent in the first quarter of this year, from 34 percent in 2010, a reduction of about four million people.
Young college graduates were far more likely to report excellent health, to have a primary care doctor and to go to the doctor regularly than before the law.
Indicators for how well the law is working for older people are few, but one – screenings for colon cancer – shows marked growth, as screening rates for people with private insurance rose to 56 percent in 2012, from 48 percent in 2010.*
Studies are cited in the body of the article (probably unread by 75%) and at least the one I looked at does NOT…NOT support the claim “young college graduates were far more likely to report excellent health, to have a primary care doctor and to go to the doctor regularly than before the law.” Below is the link to the study on which this claim is made.
http://www.nber.org/papers/w20148 “Impacts of the Affordable Care Act Dependent Coverage Provision on Health-Related Outcomes of Young Adults
Silvia Barbaresco, Charles J. Courtemanche, Yanling Qi
NBER Working Paper No. 20148
Issued in May 2014
NBER Program(s): HC HE
The first major insurance expansion of the Affordable Care Act – a provision requiring insurers to allow dependents to remain on parents’ health insurance until turning 26 – took effect in September 2010. We estimate this mandate’s impacts on numerous health-related outcomes using a difference-in-differences approach with 23-25 year olds as the treatment group and 27-29 year olds as the control group. For the full sample, the dependent coverage provision increased the probabilities of having insurance, a primary care doctor, and excellent self-assessed health, while decreasing unmet medical needs because of cost. However, we find no evidence of improvements in preventive care utilization or health behaviors. Subsample analyses reveal particularly striking gains for college graduates, including reduced obesity. Finally, we show that the mandate’s impacts on 19-22 year olds were generally weaker than those on 23-25 year olds, although we observe a reduction in pregnancies for unmarried 19-22 year old women.”
Nowhere in this paper cited by the Times is there justification for their “young college graduates were far more likely to report excellent health…. than before the law.”
Will the online exchanges work better this year than last? “WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW” (in order to parrot the party line):
Federal and state officials say that the online health care marketplaces that performed so badly last fall have been upgraded to ensure smoother service when they reopen Nov. 15.
But both new and old customers are expected to flood onto the exchanges, testing their capacities, and the “back end” of the federal system, where insurers receive applications and bill the government for subsidy payments, is not completed.
Though many of the 14 state-run exchanges are fine, several remain question marks, including those in Maryland, Massachusetts, Hawaii and Vermont.
NOT MUCH HERE EXCEPT THE “COINCIDENCE” that the test of functionality occurs AFTER Election Day!
It is here we should recall how it was that the Canadian company CGI got the NO-BID contract to create the 0’Website. Michelle Obama and the Failed Website To summarize, the company with a terrible record on similar projects in Canada received a NO-BID contract. It is happenstance that Michelle Obama’s classmate and fellow member of Black Princeton Alumni, Toni Townes-Whitley is Executive Vice President of CGI-Federal.
Bullet 5: Has the health care industry been helped or hurt by the law? “WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW” to rebut conservatives:
Wall Street analysts and health care experts say the law helped the industry financially by providing new customers to insurers and new paying patients to hospitals.
The most direct beneficiary of the law is the insurance industry, which is now experiencing growth in the demand for private insurance.
The number of insurers participating in the online health exchanges is projected to grow in 2015, an indication of the anticipated profitability of the marketplace.
So, who cares how well “the industry” is doing? Only Crony Corporatists benefit. Not patients, not doctors. Only bureaucrats and corporate tools win.
The NY Slimes first sentence in this bullet ‘From the beginning, opponents of the Affordable Care Act have warned that it represented a “government takeover”…’ WHY THE QUOTES? Air quotes are pathognomonic for the presence of an underlying Statist, Collectivist, Fellow Traveler or Trendy Tool. If the “Affordable Care Act” were not a government takeover of 20% of the US economy what would an actual takeover look like?
And as to the Crony Corporatists: Alinsky boasted “I have on occasion remarked that I felt confident that I could persuade a millionaire on a Friday to subsidize a revolution for Saturday out of which he would make a huge profit on Sunday even though he was certain to be executed on Monday. — P.150 Rules For Radicals. From the Times article: For the insurers, the health care exchanges are now “really the only game in town in terms of growth” for private insurance, said John F. Holahan, a policy expert from the Urban Institute.
IS THIS THE PLAN: lure in the Crony Corporatists then destrpy them? Not necessarily a bad thing. But it will be used as an example that “Capitalism failed… and failed fairly… spectacularly” per Hillary Clinton.
Bullet the 6th is:
“HOW HAS THE EXPANSION OF MEDICAID FAIRED?” with the subtitle “Some States Balked at What They Believed Would Be Hidden Costs”. The NY Times presumes to be smarter than entire states!!!
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW (to sound like you’ve been watching MSLSD):
The Affordable Care Act allows states to expand Medicaid to people not previously eligible, including some people above the poverty level – but the United States Supreme Court in 2012 ruled that expansion was optional for states.
As a result, only 27 states and the District of Columbia have expanded, while Republican opposition in other states has blocked expansion.
In states without expanded Medicaid, a coverage gap exists for people who earn too much to receive Medicaid, but too little to receive federal subsidies to reduce insurance premiums. About half of the people who fall in that gap nationally live in Texas, Florida or Georgia.
Under pressure from hospitals that stand to gain federal funds from Medicaid expansion, Republican governors in several states are now moving toward expansion, some through so-called private option plans.
This one begins “Architects of the Affordable Care Act saw the expansion of Medicaid, the government health care program for low-income people, as a crucial step toward President Obama’s goal of reducing the number of uninsured. And in states that have expanded eligibility — to include people with incomes up to 138 percent of the poverty level (up to $16,105 for an individual) — Medicaid appears to be achieving that goal.” BUT as pointed out above try to find doctors that take Medicaid!!! Since most uninsured poor people have no assets like houses to place liens upon their hospital bills are probably laughed at as they are tossed in the trash. So this law merely pays hospitals a token of their admission and care. It does not provide care to any one but hospital financial officers. It is all but wealth redistribution. In this weekend before Election Day the NY Times donates free advertising to the Democrat Party.
“Not all states have expanded Medicaid, because the Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that the expansion was optional. So governments in 23 states, most of them Republican-controlled (BOO HISS), have blocked expansion, asserting that the cost could eventually become a state responsibility.”
The Times implies the Republican Governors are stupid. Don’t they know “that will not be the case: Under the Affordable Care Act, the federal government pays all costs for newly eligible Medicaid beneficiaries through 2016, and after that the federal share never goes below 90 percent. Under traditional Medicaid, states pay a higher share — 26 percent to 50 percent.”
IS IT NOT POSSIBLE OR EVEN LIKELY THAT AFTER 2016 the far larger pool of Medicaid-insured would generate costs such that 10% would cost more than the 26-50% reimbursement states currently get?
And further, like Alinsky’s “I have on occasion remarked that I felt confident that I could persuade a millionaire on a Friday to subsidize a revolution for Saturday out of which he would make a huge profit on Sunday even though he was certain to be executed on Monday”, the Crony Governors and their states will be exactly in the same position.
The final bullet, #7 is “HAS THE LAW CONTRIBUTED TO A SLOWDOWN IN HEALTH CARE SPENDING?” with the somewhat hemming and hawing subtitle ” Trajectory of Costs Levels Off, but There Are Many Reasons”.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW (to sound glib and lib).
Health care spending had begun slowing even before the Affordable Care Act was signed into law.
The reasons included recession, higher-deductible policies that discourage people from seeking health care services, and a decline in the development of new, costly prescription drugs.
But reductions in wasteful or unneeded care may also be factors in the slowdown, and experts say the Affordable Care Act may help reinforce those changes.
In the short term, the law could actually drive up health care spending by bringing more insured people into the system.
The kick off to this last essay is “For decades, health care costs have been rising much faster than the rest of the American economy...” This is an important factoid that must NOT be taken at its face value. Again, it is comparing apples and oranges. In the 1950’s there were no Cat Scans, MRI’s, Interventional Radiology, drugs to treat all the things we now take for granted. People live longer, because of pharmacologic and technologic interventions in Atherosclerosis, Hypertension, Congestive Heart failure, Diabetes, Asthma COPD, Kidney Failure just to name a few of the major killers of the past. They are all now managed longer and allow for a longer life with good quality.
What is the percent increase in the cost of Television watching. Remember when it FREE! As long as you had a decent and well-placed antenna it was free. Oh but there were only seven channels and nothing between 2AM and 6AM! Now we have cable or dish or telephone line input with 1000 channels of perfect picture! But it is not free. Why is there no hubbub over the television-viewing costs rising much faster than the rest of the economy?
So the very first premise is mistaken. The rest is therefore moot. To end this NY Times pre-election day review of Obamacare and ad for the Democrat Party: ““The experiment is on, and everyone knows they’re a lab rat,” said Douglas J. Holtz-Eakin, the president of the right-leaning American Action Forum and a former director of the Congressional Budget Office. “Now we’ll see if it sticks.” To the Times, “right-leaning” might mean anything! I suspect that this “right-leaning” think tanker is a Free-Trading Corporatist of the Crony Clan.
To the ELITES we are indeed lab rats! We will remind them that rats have teeth!