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ObamaCare Clusterfuck: Spinning the numbers

McClatchy summarizes a Commonwealth Fund report:

WASHINGTON — - Some 9.5 million Americans gained health coverage during the recent marketplace enrollment period as the uninsured rate for working-age adults fell from 20 percent to 15 percent, according to a new national survey by the Commonwealth Fund.

A rate which, when you work out the deaths, is unconscionable.*

Young adults ages 19-34, whose participation in the Affordable Care Act’s coverage initiative was crucial but always uncertain, saw some of the largest coverage gains. Their uninsured rate fell from 28 percent to 18 percent.

Crucial to the actuarial soundness of the program; it says nothing about health outcomes at all. What it does show is that ObamaCare has preserved the ability of insurance companies to extract rent. Film at 11.

Uninsured rates for Latinos fell from 36 percent to 23 percent, the survey found. And low-income adults earning less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level saw their uninsured rate drop from 35 percent to 24 percent.

The findings suggest the health law is meeting its goal of increasing coverage for hard-to-reach groups. Sixty-three percent of adults with new coverage through Medicaid or the insurance marketplaces were previously uninsured, the survey found.

Notice the language about "hard to reach" groups. FIrst, this is marketing-speak, and again has nothing to do with health care outcomes. Second, as we know, not all the "hard to reach" were targeted.

Sixty percent of adults with new coverage had used it to fill a prescription or visit a doctor or hospital by June. Among those that did, 62 percent said they wouldn’t have been able to do so without their new coverage.

Which is good! A program as big as ObamaCare is bound to help somebody, no matter how fucked up it is.

And while marketplace coverage has been noted for having narrow networks of care providers, 54 percent of survey respondents said their plan included all or some of the doctors they preferred. And more than 60 percent were able to get an appointment with their new primary care physician within two weeks, the survey found.

So, including the doctor you want is a little bit better than a coin flip? WTF?

Imagine the Obots were selling you cars instead of insurance. Would you really think you'd found a trustworthy dealer if you couldn't get the model you wanted 46% of the time, and 40% of the time you couldn't get the car to start? What's wrong with these people?

NOTE * Note that whenever you hear that the ObamaCare rollout was actuarially sound, that means people were dying because markets. If you look at the rollout from the perspective of saving lives, not money, massive adverse selection would be exactly what you want. Of course, the political class doesn't think that way, all across the board.

NOTE One thing you can take to the bank: Whoever did the study wasn't actually using ObamaCare.

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mellon's picture
Submitted by mellon on

onto families

Lets look at the ideology first. Look at a line in this article from the other day.. (which was actually borrowed from this interview.

"There is no suggestion whatsoever that the TTIP negotiations could be used to undermine the fundamental principles of the NHS or advancing privatisation.
*Our focus for health is to enable our world-class pharmaceutical and medical devices sectors to benefit from improved access to the US market.*

In short, the US is forcing them to privatize the NHS, or give up some benefit (which cannot be lower tariffs, because they already are at zero with the UK) - what is it? It seems to me that in all the free trade agreements, the US is always trying to use its muscle as an market to force other countries to ADOPT ITS MEME THAT THE ONLY RATIONAL WAY IS TO ACT AGAINST THEIR OWN BEST INTERESTS- privatize public healthcare or abandon drug price control strategies.. If you look at the history of US-Australia bilateral trade deals, these issues come up again and again.

Similarly with Central and South America, until recently. Look at the wish list enumerated in this paper about the failed FTAA trade deal the US was trying to get passed a few years ago.

The Obama Administration and the Bush Administration before them were and are trying to use trade policy to quietly (because the American people would be appalled to see them doing this) attack public health care systems around the world and dismantle them - covertly using the misplaced trust that the American people put in them as a lever to destroy these superbly performing systems (The Australian system was one of the top rated systems in the world a few years ago, and the UK is one of the better performing ones in Europe) and attempt to replace them with its supremely dysfunctional one.

This is the reason why Obamacare is so bad. The US has staked out ideological positions which are extremely destructive to value provided, after all, the US's goal seems to maximize drug profits and export its broken health care model at all costs.

What's happening is that we, the people are caught in the crossfire. Our interests have to be sacrificed for the falsity that the most coercive and immoral system still works - ideological purity has to be preserved. so that the US corporations can maximize their drug profits and export their evil health insurance model. And so that many working poor people are kept poor and on the verge of economic ruin. Even as the era of the full time job wanes.. a time when families need to be saving every penny, because the unskilled jobs of today wont be here much longer.

That is why this is particularly illogical. the engine of US prosperity has always been a strong middle class. They are literally trying to destroy that middle class. (They are profoundly unfit to govern, in my opinion.)

The real reason for all this? Obamacare had to be one thing above all else, an endorsement of privatization in every respect. And it could not expose the fact that the FTAs and the beginnings of this ideological crusade against sanity had begun more than 20 years ago, in the first Bush and Clinton Administrations. They had to hide that starting with NAFTA and GATS, FTAs started beginning to restrict the policy space more than 20 years ago!

The fact that the FTAS started this process 20+ years ago, looms large, to me. because its so outrageously evil.

They lied, they all lied TOGETHER, and that complicity between the two parties in hiding something SO important to the most of us has had to be hidden, or the whole charade would fall apart for them.!

Despite the fact that there never was any choice, the whole thing was laid out and was a done deal, with both parties fake policy positions put forward as the reasons.. fake gridlock.. without any real democracy allowed.. They have to make it look (globally) as if thats what the American people WANT when in fact, it isn't.

Obamacare was designed to cut costs for the government by shifting the poor out of high actuarial value situations which were run by the government into low actuarial private insurance, or insurance for the indigents (only) run by states, and that help comes at a large cost, poor peoples incomes has to stay low, so its forcing people with even highly manageable chronic conditions to drop out of the workforce unless they can make SO much money they can afford adequate private nongroup insurance (non Obamacare) - which statistically, 90% of the country cannot.

Notice that Obamacare also is gettiung rid of SCHIP, which they addmitted "was too good of a deal" during the Baucus hearings.. But why was it such a good deal? because DECADES of research had shown repeatedly that the poor families with children it targeted were so stretched that even the smallest co-pays posed such a large barrier to these extremely poor, largely working families that they would postpone going to the doctor even in arguably life threatening situations because they simply didn't have that money.

now, the US government seems to have completely eliminated everything that links to that body of research, which was easy to find a few years ago.. and they are pretending that everything is hunky dory. The same thing goes for reams of research done on COBRA, showing that even the reduced cost of COBRA plans (because they were group coverage which costs a half to a third as much as equivalent nongroup coverage) was TOO EXPENSIVE.

What is going to happen - we already know, is that lots of people are literally going to die because of this undisclosed human medical experimentation, this ideological extremism.

Doctors are already saying that the number of patients coming in has actually fallen.. (my theory is because since large numbers of people were shifted from employer plans, with low co pays, to ACA plans with insanely high co pays, people have stopped seeing their doctors for any kind of curative care. Thats right, the people who should be seeing their doctors because they have some medical issue, have stopped going, To cover this up, they made preventative care (much less expensive) free, but - not of there is any complaint! So what do you do if you do have a pain somewhere.. People dont have any way to get it looked at without paying a lot of money- They have closed down formerly free clinics..or forced them to try to sign up everybody who come in who is uninsurd, lying to them about its cost (they just quote the premium cost, NOT THE OOP COSTS, which can be as much as $25000 a year - plus the r plus the premium costs - for some families (this year, its supposed to be only around $12,600 plus the premiums next year) )

What has all this been FOR, well, we already know one thing, ITS GOING TO FAIL - its literally designed to fail!

Looking at the history of the numerous state based programs, all of which ran into the same problems, thats the obvious conclusion. Also, its obvious that they knew this from the start!

The states couldnt save money because they were not the only game in town, they didnt have the bargaining muscle, they didnt have the huge reduction of complexity, doctors could not practice with a small staff, they need an army of accountants.. Hospitals need one too.. .. The state programs were doomed from the start because they were not the only game in town, the complexity all remained the tiered system remained, the cherry picking, the price fixing, the gag clauses and ever declining standard of care all remained, so, what was the point, they hit the same wall that the leaders of Slovakia described they had hit.. here..so they couldn't do it, they could not remain viable.

BUT, the people were prevented from seeing how horrible the free market ideology's "solution" is by comparison. The meme that the future is crap healthcare was preserved, and the corrupt politicians were happy because the efficiency of public healthcare also means that they can't give chunks of that huge money to supporters as a reward. In short, single payer works, too well. Its too professional a system for a dysfunctional, corrupt America.

Read more here: http://www.pnhp.org/resources/pnhp-research-the-case-for-a-national-heal...

Submitted by Dromaius on

60 percent were able to get an appointment with their new primary care physician within two weeks

....And don't forget that primary care doctors aren't nearly as difficult to see as specialists. But of course, I suspect they didn't even ask about specialists....because Obamacare is about treating sniffles, not dealing with serious issues, like, say CANCER.

Submitted by lambert on

That is all.

paintedjaguar's picture
Submitted by paintedjaguar on

"60 percent were able to get an appointment with their new primary care physician within two weeks"

Wait a minute -- is this just poor writing or is it excellent weasel wording? I can't tell (I couldn't see the linked article). Taken literally, that statement just means people were able to get an appointment. Says nothing about when they actuallly got to see a doctor.

Yeah, I'm that paranoid. Every sane person should be when it comes to the Obamacare marketing machine.

Submitted by flora on

"free market"....?
it's free, free is good, ergo free market is good.
But if "free" is replaced by one of its synonyms there may be a more apt description of current markets.
How about "unrestrained market"? Or "out of control market". Or "immoderate market"? Or "unregulated market"? Or "Privileged market"?