Obamacare Throwback Thursday

One Year Ago Max Baucus Predicted Obamacare Would Be ‘A Huge Train Wreck.’ He Was Right.


SEN. MAX BAUCUS (D-MT): ‘I just see a huge train wreck coming down’ “I'm a bit Johnny One-Note on implementation of the law, especially with respect to signups and exchanges, et cetera, and am very concerned not enough is being done so far. Very concerned. I just tell you, I just see a huge train wreck coming down.” (Finance Committee, U.S. Senate, Hearing On The President’s FY 2014 Budget, 4/17/13)


‘Premiums Have Gone Up Substantially,’ Deductibles Spike, ‘It Feels Like Extortion’

AL Students: “‘The cost keeps increasing,’ [Dr. George] Flowers said. ‘The premiums have gone up substantially since we started the program. We’ve tried to keep the coverage as consistent as possible, and with the escalation in the healthcare cost, it’s gone up significantly. It’s gone up from approximately $1,200 a year total cost to now about $1,800 a year.’ According to Flowers, part of the premium cost increase last year was tied to concerns across the board of the health insurance industry over what would happen when the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was finally implemented.” (“Premiums Likely To Rise For Auburn Student Insurance Plan,” The Plainsman, 4/2/14)

OR Man: “Lawrence Cwik, a photographer in Portland, Ore., said his monthly contribution for Atripla increased to $1,018, from $40, when he switched to a new marketplace plan after his old plan was canceled. ... ‘I’m pretty much out of luck.’” (“Study Looks At Earliest Health Law Enrollees,” The New York Times, 4/9/14)

NY Woman: “...you know what it is? It feels like extortion. You have to pay this much money, or otherwise you are a bad person and you get a fine and you won't be covered if something bad happens.” (“Millennials On Obamacare: What Do You Mean, Affordable?” The Guardian, 4/6/14)

NY Woman: “‘I discovered, to my chagrin, that my deductible was $2,000. ... What I had to learn the hard way, was ‘Oh, a deductible means I have to spend $2,000 for my insurance to actually start to kicking in and me not having to pay.’ That's ridiculous. I would be paying another $2,000 on top of $325 a month for me to go see a doctor. For me, financially speaking that's not going to work out.” (“Millennials On Obamacare: What Do You Mean, Affordable?” The Guardian, 4/6/14)


‘Nearly Two-Thirds Of Small Businesses ... Will Pay More’

“Nearly two-thirds of small businesses that currently offer health insurance to their workers will pay more for coverage as a result of new rules in the health care law, as will millions of small-business employees and their family members, according to new estimates released by the Obama administration.” (“Obama Administration: Health Law’s New Rules Will Increase Costs For Most Small Businesses,” Washington Post, 2/24/14)

HI Small Businesses: “The Hawaii Medical Service Association said costs related to Obama­care are responsible for the bulk of a 12.8 percent proposed rate hike for most of the 77,000 small-business workers covered by the insurer.” (“HMSA Pursues 12.8% Rate Hike For Small Businesses,” Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 4/8/14)


‘Children ... Losing Their Health Coverage’

NJ: “While the federal government was trumpeting the benefits of Obamacare to boost enrollment earlier this year, about 1,800 families in New Jersey were receiving letters telling them their children would be losing their health coverage last week. The Affordable Care Act — the federal law that mandates everyone have insurance — effectively killed FamilyCare Advantage, a low-cost option for kids in New Jersey...” (“Obamacare Eclipses Low-Cost NJ Health Plan For Middle-Class Kids,” The Star-Ledger, 4/6/14)

KY Woman: I’ve ‘had really a panicked experience lately trying to figure out how my 10-year-old son can continue with his specialists’ “Rebecca Stewart had a chance to take her concerns about Obamacare directly to the top. … ‘I'm probably not the only one who has had really a panicked experience lately trying to figure out how my 10-year-old son can continue with his specialists,’ Stewart said. ‘I know I can't keep my plan, which I liked, but as I'm trying to decide what to do going forward, I've spent weeks, with days on the phone getting confidently delivered wrong answers, conflicting information, it's becoming quite obvious to me a lot of agencies, almost everyone I talk to, is having a lot of trouble figuring out the new rules.’” (“Covington Mother Grills Obama On Health Care,” The Cincinnati Enquirer, 2/4/14)

WA: “Administrator’s at Seattle Children’s today said they predicted this would happen and it’s even worse than they expected. Kids being denied specialty treatment at the hospital by insurance providers on the Washington Health Benefits exchange. Children’s filed requests on behalf of 125 of their patients. Of those they said they got only 20 responses, eight of which were denials.” (KING-WA, 1/31/14)


‘Newly Insured Patients Find They Can’t Use Local Hospital Or Doctors’

NJ Woman: “‘I’m sorry, we are no longer accepting that kind of insurance. I apologize for the confusion; Dr. [insert name] is only willing to see existing patients at this time.’ As a proud new beneficiary of the Affordable Health Care Act, I’d like to report that I am doctorless. Ninety-six. Ninety-six is the number of soul crushing rejections that greeted me as I attempted to find one. It’s the number of physicians whose secretaries feigned empathy while rehearsing the ‘I’m so sorry’ line before curtly hanging up.” (“When Doctors Slam The Doors On The Newly Insured…” Ebony, 4/9/14)

SC Woman: ‘I have to find a different health care provider... It’s frustrating’ “Shortly after Mary West bought health insurance, she realized there was a problem. For years, the Spartanburg resident was treated by a doctor at Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System. Now that she has a shiny new health insurance card in her pocket, she will have to find somewhere else to receive care. ‘I have to find a different health care provider,’ she said. ‘It’s frustrating.’ ... ‘Things were better before I had to get insurance,’ West said. ‘I didn’t have these headaches.’” (“Newly Insured Patients Find They Can't Use Local Hospital Or Doctors,” Spartanburg Herald Journal, 4/5/14)

CA Cancer Patient: Learned Obamacare ‘plan wouldn’t cover the hospitals where he was used to being treated’ “Ben Rosenthal was treated for prostate cancer four years ago and had gallbladder surgery the year before that. … Rosenthal, 57, paid for his own health insurance. Last fall, when his plan was discontinued because it didn’t meet standards set by the Affordable Care Act, Rosenthal bought the best insurance coverage he could find, a top-tier ‘platinum’ policy from Blue Shield of California that costs $792 a month. … Then in February he learned the plan wouldn’t cover the hospitals where he was used to being treated.” (“Obamacare Limits Choices Under Some Plans,” Bloomberg, 3/21/14)