Saturday, September 13, 2014

Obamacare premiums lower in second year .

Obamacare insurance premiums coming in lower in second year.  United Health entering the CT market exchange after staying out.

http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2014/09/13/just-when-you-thought-obamacare-couldnt-surprise-y.aspx

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The laugh is on Cory Gardner regarding his recent remarks attacking Mark Udall re: Obamacare

I got a laugh when I read the Denver Post story about Cory Gardner, running against Democrat incumbent Mark Udall for Senate.  Gardner tried to make an issue of a long ago Udall statement that he (Udall) did not want a government run health insurance program but wanted to improve our employer based program and then to find a way to cover those uninsured.  Claimed Gardner it was another lie a la the President's promise to allow you to keep the insurance you had.  Shame on Udall.. he LIED. ..so the inference goes.

First, Obamacare did not remove the employer based program we have, but it did improve the employer based insurance system.  It stopped  the insurance company  practices of charging more than 20% for overhead, for discriminating against women by making them pay more for premiums, or putting lifetime caps on insurance, and other consumer unfriendly practices.  Nearly 80 per cent of those not on Medicare, Medicaid  who worked had employer's insurance and that has not changed.

The laugh refers to the origin of Obamacare.  It was a plan to thwart attempts to move to a single payer system like Canada's or other socialized medicine systems and still provide a way to cover the 30 million not covered by Medicare, Medicaid or who did not get insurance from employers because their employers did not provide it.  Out of fear that the insurance industry would be destroyed by a single payer system that short cut the private insurance industry, the conservative Heritage Foundation came up with a proposal to require all who could to pay for insurance per income level to purchase private insurance.  That is exactly what Obamacare does and the laboratory for it was Romneycare...the state of Massachusetts.  It kept the private insurance industry in the loop, gave them a potential of 30 million new customers who now had their policies subsidized so they could afford private insurance , and it is, per the American Medical Association, performing as designed.  The projections  are that within 3 years, the program will be fully operational and most of the 30 million will have been insured.   Those who have gotten insurance via Obamacare seem happy with their policies, even though they may have had to change doctors, but that is not new. Employers often change insurance providers leaving employees having to change doctors as well.  (For more regarding this point, key word search this site for "Obamacare" where much is written and polled about this).

Is this a government run system?  It depends what you mean by government run.  Requiring insurers to abide by standards so that consumers are no longer harmed, or setting up the infrastructure to be able to subsidize consumers per income level, or providing a marketplace for consumers to choose a private insurance plan may fit the most broad definition, but so far the GOP has not been able to come up with a better plan to cover the 30 million uninsured.  Even their attempt to propose alternatives such as cross state competition or malpractice reform has been a farce.  The Congressional Budget Office estimated that it would reduce premiums so that 3 million more could afford insurance....hardly adequate for the job of insuring the other 27 million. When the GOP comes up with a plan that will provide the same benefits and make insurance affordable, maybe we can take them more seriously. Until then, they are the ones worthy of a laugh.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Bob Beauprez, who is he?



Who is Bob Beauprez, the Republican taking on Gov. John Hickenlooper in November?  He is a relatively unknown to the general public since his last elected office ended seven years ago, and his stance on issues is missing on his website. Polls show a close race. The campaign will heat up after Labor Day, but what positions Beauprez takes on issues may change the poll numbers.
What we know is that Beauprez was a two-term congressman until 2007, serving western slope District 7, and he lost to Democrat Bill Ritter in the general election for governor in 2006 by 17 percentage points.  Since then he has served as editor in chief of A Line of Sight, an online magazine.  He published one book, “A Return to Values: A Conservative.” There is a limited record of public statements he made in 2012 and later.  From that, it is possible to get a sneak preview of what may come.
He will be a good fit for rural Colorado, but not necessarily for urban/suburban voters. He will perpetuate a gender gap, may neutralize an increase in the Hispanic vote gap, and will risk attacks that “he is too extreme for Colorado” in spite of his businessman demeanor.
Beauprez already had a Romney 47% moment caught on YouTube, similar to what many consider the turning point resulting in the reelection of President Obama. Four years ago Beauprez noted 47% do not pay federal income tax.  Failing to note that 47% percent do not earn enough to be taxed, he concluded, “Almost one half of the population is perfectly happy that someone else is paying the bill.”   He defended his remarks again on July 2, 2014, on KWGN.
A recent Quinnipiac poll concluded that issues of importance to Colorado are the economy, jobs, and health care, to the exclusion of the rest.  A poll revealed 60% say Colorado’s economy is “excellent” or “good” while viewing the national economy as the reverse.  Gov. Hickenlooper, also viewed as business- and energy sector-friendly, may neutralize or win that issue.
Regarding Obamacare, what Beauprez would do differently is not known.  Would he yank it from those who are already benefiting or find an acceptable substitute that provides the same protection from insurance company practices of denial for preexisting conditions and benefits of affordability for the 400,000 in Colorado who were uninsured prior to the ACA?  Colorado’s exchange marketplace is ranked as one of the top four most successful in the US.
A nonpartisan, nonprofit  group “On the Issues,” however, has looked at Beauprez’s positions on record and assessed  him to be a conservative on the right, opposing higher taxes on the wealthy, green energy as a priority, women’s unrestricted rights for abortion, and same-sex marriage. What he favors are school choice vouchers, absolute right to gun ownership, and privatizing social security.  He is neutral on a pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens, perhaps recognizing that Hispanics comprise 12% of the state’s voters.