published Sunday, September 29th, 2013

Affordable health insurance for most Americans set to become reality

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas talks to reporters as he emerges from the Senate Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, in this Sept 25, 2013, file photo after his overnight crusade railing against the Affordable Care Act.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas talks to reporters as he emerges from the Senate Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, in this Sept 25, 2013, file photo after his overnight crusade railing against the Affordable Care Act.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Tuesday morning, the Affordable Care Act becomes a new norm. A good new norm.

Sure, it will have some kinks, but nothing that can’t be worked out by thinking members of the U.S. Congress on both sides of the aisle who really care about their country and their fellow man — not just about the sound of their voices.

With the new health insurance exchanges debuting this week, this Affordable Care Act is offering insurance and plan choices so everyone can be covered by insurance. No one will be shut out anymore.

Before tax credits, that work like upfront discounts for most who will enroll, the average premium cost for an individual will be about $328 a month nationally. In Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama, where 10-20 percent of residents are uninsured, it will be less: In Tennessee, $245; in Georgia, $317; in Alabama, $318, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

With those tax-credit subsidies for many people without employer provided insurance, the cost will be even lower. Likely those individual insurance premiums will be equal or lower than the cost born by workers with company insurance. For instance, at one Chattanooga company, individuals pay $165 a month on a $417 premium while the company pays the rest — $252.

Factoring in the subsidizing tax credits of Obamacare, a 27-year-old making $25,000 a year would see the premium for one of the most popular plan choices drop to $145 a month in nearly every state, including those in this region.

What about families? A family of four with earnings of $50,000 could get a monthly premium for a plan with modest co-payments for $282. But if the family used its tax credit to buy the cheapest plan, one with higher co-payments, the premiums would be $112 in Alabama, $132 in Georgia, and $128 in Tennessee, according to the government’s state-by-state chart.

The Republican naysayers have thrown every possible obstruction in front of this program, apparently because they so fear its success with the American people.

Frankly, some of the scam websites seeking donations to help stop “Obamacare” should be criminally investigated. Again, the Affordable Care Act is the law. Naysayers claim choice is gone? Not true. As with most private insurance, you have different tiers of coverage to choose from. Buyers can cost share with deductibles and co-payments, or they can choose a more costly and comprehensive plan.

Obamacare already has provided thousands with insurance simply by raising the age for young adults who may stay on their parents’ insurance plans to 26. It also means insurers can no longer turn down a customer for preexisting health conditions or drop them if they get sick. And it requires insurers to spend 80 percent of premiums for actual health care, not insurance corporate bonuses.

Still, Republicans want to tie funding the Affordable Care Act to the budget: Defund-Obamacare-or-shut-down government goes the mindless chant of sillybuster Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.

During his speechifying last week Cruz recited the story of “Green Eggs and Ham,” a Dr. Seuss book about people who don’t want to try something new, then upon trying it they find they do like it. Here’s a slight rewrite — just for the senator.

“So, I will eat them in a box. And I will eat them with a fox. And I will eat them in a house. And I will eat them with a mouse. And I will eat them here and there. Say! I will eat them ANYWHERE! I do so like green eggs and ham!

“Thank you! Thank you, Uncle- Sam-I-am.”

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soakya said...

its so good those who cooked it up don't want it. the president has already illegally delayed parts of the law that he should be enforcing then he reminds everyone its the law of the land.

September 29, 2013 at 12:25 a.m.
nucanuck said...

The ACA is just a stepping stone to a revised Medicare for all.

September 29, 2013 at 12:41 a.m.
conservative said...

People who run business are smarter than those who try to ruin business. Many are already going to part time workers to avoid the tax.

The something for nothing crowd just won't sign up. These reliable Demoncrat voters won't be thrown in jail.

September 29, 2013 at 7:36 a.m.
joneses said...

This article should read: Complete Government takeover and the destruction of the best healthcare system in the world will begin with Obamacare on Tuesday.

September 29, 2013 at 7:52 a.m.
joneses said...

“Medicine is the keystone of the arch of socialism.” - Vladimir Lenin

September 29, 2013 at 7:58 a.m.
rick1 said...

Jonese, you are spot on. This bill has nothing with providing healthcare it's all about controlling our lives and driving us into a single payer system. It will also make more people dependent on the government as businesses cut back on hours.

A report by the CBO states currently, there are 53 million uninsured persons in the United States, including uninsured illegal aliens. The CBO estimates that in 2022--8 years after the Affordable Care Act has been fully implemented--30 million people will remain uninsured.

Under Obamacare, 8 percent of legal U.S. residents will remain without health insurance in 2022, according to CBO.

The first link is an excellent article that democrats do not wish to have on ObamaCare.

http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/09/the_wrecking_ball_known_as_obamacare.html

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/cbo-obamacare-will-leave-30-million-uninsured#sthash.aIsXau99.dpuf

September 29, 2013 at 8:28 a.m.
Hunter_Bluff said...

Anyone with empirical data demonstrating that the US has the "best healthcare system in the world" is welcome to publish it. Best as determined by what criteria and for whom?

September 29, 2013 at 9:04 a.m.
rick1 said...

If you have cancer and live in Canada or Europe you would think the U.S has better health care.

Cancer is the leading cause of premature death in Canada and the numbers of new cases of several major cancers have remained relatively stable. New, better treatments are needed as soon as they can be introduced.

Using previously published information, this study compares the number of new oncology drugs approved by each agency and their review times. Of 33 new oncology drugs, 30 were approved in the United States, 26 in the European Community, and 24 in Canada between 2003 and 2011. The median review times (the time within which 50% of the drugs were approved) of these drugs were 182 days in the United States, 410 days in Europe, and 356 days in Canada.

http://www.fraserinstitute.org/research-news/display.aspx?id=18744

Even though wait times have decreased in Canada you will still wait too long to receive medical necessary treatment.

http://www.fraserinstitute.org/research-news/display.aspx?id=19027

Physician supply in Canada just as it is being predicted to be a problem here as well.

http://www.fraserinstitute.org/uploadedFiles/fraser-ca/Content/research-news/research/articles/canadas-physician-supply.pdf

September 29, 2013 at 10:03 a.m.
nucanuck said...

rick1,

Are you saying that having wait times on non-critical care in Canada is worse than having 40 million uninsured in the US? Surely you jest.

Canada operates a pay as you go system that costs far less than US health care and gives coverage to all. Canada is getting the job done for all her citizens while the US leaves millions behind...no comparison!

note: a friend thought he was having a sciatica problem and he was just taking ibuprofen. He finally went to his doctor, found out that his hip was deteriorated, and now has a nine month wait for his scheduled surgery. He is OK with that. Again my point is that the health care system here does a good job of providing access to all while living within a budget. People can relate to that and appreciate the fairness in how the system is administered.

September 29, 2013 at 11:08 a.m.
rick1 said...

Nucanuck according to the Frazier Institute Ontario reports the shortest total wait in 2012 (14.9 weeks); New Brunswick reports the longest at 35.1 weeks. Maybe that is acceptable in Canada but having lived in this country you know people here want immediate care and will go to the ER instead of waiting weeks to see their doctor.

The in the same study it showed patients waited for specialists the longest between a GP referral and orthopaedic surgery (39.6 weeks), while those waiting for medical oncology begin treatment in 4.1 weeks. I do not want to wait that long especially if I am diagnosed with cancer. Think about it using the shortest time frames you could wait 14.9 weeks before seeing your doctor and then another 4.1 weeks before seeing an oncologist.

As I posted earlier there will still be 30 million people without health insurance in this country by 2023 so this is just another lie that every one will have healthcare.

September 29, 2013 at 11:23 a.m.
nucanuck said...

rick1,

Seeing a primary care doctor is immediate in Canada. I can walk out my door and be in front of a doctor in less than fifteen minutes today, Sunday, at my neighborhood clinic. I could be sent straight to emergency where I would see a specialist if need be. But the primary care doctor must decide the immediacy of my health situation. Clearly each and every patient may see his or her situation as most important, but a national system has to have ground rules or costs simply run wild.

For the last six years I have participated in and watched my friends participate in Canadian health care. Because I am old,71, I see heavy users of the system. We all have appointments all the time with specialists. Despite what you may want to believe, the Canadian system works, it works well for most things most of the time. Occasionally I hear of a missed diagnosis, but then again my brother died in Chattanooga at age 49 from what I would call a missed diagnosis. It can happen. What is not likely to happen here is someone unable to see a doctor or be denied access to appropriate health care. Dying from waiting is just not the case.

September 29, 2013 at 12:49 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

Nucanuck, you can describe the benefits of the Canadian system 'til you're blue in the face. You have experienced it first hand and most rational people see that, while it is not perfect, it is far better than our broken, for-profit, non-egalitarian system that we have here. But these stubborn wing-nuts are NOT going to hear you or believe you. They are stuck in a permanent adolescence of I-have-mine-and-to-hell-with-you. Such is the state of America today, suffering in the stranglehold of ultra-conservatism and Dark Ages Christian fundamentalism that is proving to be our undoing. It is not terrorism that is going to do us in but our own collective stupidity, spread and fostered in large part by these brainwashed lackeys and the greedy, self-serving bastards at the top who have them believing that America is supposed to be about greed for the few, not opportunity for the many.

September 29, 2013 at 2:06 p.m.
rick1 said...

nucanuck,

Maybe you can see a PCD immediately but obviously other people in Canada are not as fortunate as you and your friends are but that does not speak for all of the other Canadians who have to wait.

Please see the first link below and read the part titled Excerpts from the Ruling

http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/articles/macleans/supreme-court-challenges-canadas-healthcare-assumptions

http://articles.latimes.com/2009/sep/27/nation/na-healthcare-canada27

September 29, 2013 at 2:10 p.m.
nucanuck said...

rick1,

Canada has an easy remedy for delays in health care distribution. The country can simply increase the percentage of GDP that they wish to devote to health care. Instead of devoting 10% of GDP to health care, up it to 15% or 20%. The trick however is to find the right balance between cost and results. If health care gets more of the national pie, what gets less? There is but one pie!

The other issue of course is efficiency. Single payer cuts out the insurance companies and the profit motive to which they are bound. The system here exists for one purpose only...to deliver health care to all while controlling costs. That is a huge difference from the US delivery system. The players here are all private sector while the payroll is overseen by the provincial authority. Doctors here make less money and they are not always happy about that. All increases have to be vetted.

No health system will or can be perfect. What we can hope for is equal access, fairness with delivery, reasonable quality of care, and costs that that can be borne without undue stress on the economy. Most single payer systems deliver those goals. The US cannot and will not deliver it's best health care to all...the cost prevents that. The result is very uneven availability and levels of care based on sheer luck...the company that hires you or do you have a government job. Cost too is all over the place.

There is no defense for maintaining the present health care system in the US. It is simply not a fair system where reasonable access is available to all.

Basic health care and basic education are fundamental for a healthy society and I doubt that you would argue that the US is currently a healthy society.

September 29, 2013 at 3:28 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

Nucanuck, they think it is healthy only to the extent that they are able to reap the benefits of its riches. Health to them is: they have theirs and it's the fault of anybody else who doesn't likewise have their own. All the while the system is rigged in favor of the haves, and the haves do everything they can to see that the have-nots get screwed more and more. If they think the U.S is currently suffering from ill health, it is the fault of too much liberalism as far as they're concerned. Never mind that we have been going in an increasingly conservative direction ever since Reagan came on the scene.

They might make the argument that the passing of Obamacare and the increasing number of people on food stamps indicate that we are getting more liberal but Obamacare is only a weak-kneed and tepidly liberal attempt to improve our broken health care system, and the increasing number of people in poverty is due to the obstructionist Republicans clinging to voo-doo economics and the false notion that government should just stand idly by an do nothing. We could have been out of this economic slump with government programs aimed at fixing our crumbling infrastructure, growing green technology, and raising the minimum wage to at least $10/hr.

September 29, 2013 at 4:26 p.m.
rick1 said...

Nucanuck, Canada's Supreme Court did not feel Canadians had equal access, fairness with delivery, or reasonable quality of care.

"Delays in the public system are widespread and have serious, sometimes grave, consequences. Dr. Daniel Doyle, a cardiovascular surgeon who teaches and practises in Quebec City, testified that a person with coronary disease is 'sitting on a bomb' and can die at any moment. He confirmed, without challenge, that patients die while on waiting lists."

"In a study of 200 subjects aged 65 and older with hip fractures, the relationship between pre-operative delay and risk of death was examined. The study concluded that the risk of death within six months after surgery increased significantly, by 5 per cent, with the length of pre-operative delay."

"Dr. Eric Lenczner, an orthopaedic surgeon, testified that the one-year delay commonly incurred by patients requiring ligament reconstruction surgery increases the risk that their injuries will become irreparable. Dr. Lenczner also testified that 95 per cent of patients in Canada wait well over a year, and many two years, for knee replacements. While a knee replacement may seem trivial compared to the risk of death for wait-listed coronary surgery patients, the harm suffered by patients awaiting replacement knees and hips is significant. Even though death may not be an issue for them, these patients 'are in pain' and some [are] confined to wheelchairs or housebound."

"In addition to threatening the life and the physical security of the person, waiting for critical care may have significant adverse psychological effects. A 2001 study concluded that roughly 18 per cent of people who visited specialists for a new illness reported that waiting for care adversely affected their lives. The majority suffered worry, anxiety or stress. This adverse psychological impact can have a serious and profound effect on a person's psychological integrity, and is a violation of security of the person."

"We conclude, based on the evidence, that prohibiting health insurance that would permit ordinary Canadians to access health care, in circumstances where the government is failing to deliver health care in a reasonable manner, thereby increasing the risk of complications and death, interferes with life and security of the person as protected by section seven of the Charter."

September 29, 2013 at 4:39 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

I have traveled a lot. I know some Canadians and Europeans personally who can't fathom how we Americans have such an unfair heath care system that only the well-to-do and the fortunate can take advantage of. Sure, there are cases in which some of them have complaints about their own system (no system is going to be perfect) but there is not one of them who would trade theirs for what we have here in the U.S. To have our health insurance tied to our jobs and to have it so expensive to obtain individually is beyond their comprehension. But of course, those Europeans and Canadians are all socialists and commies anyway, so what do they know, right?

September 29, 2013 at 4:54 p.m.
nucanuck said...

rick1,

I am only reporting what I see and hear in one city the size of Chattanooga. I am no expert and can only relay the general feeling that seems to be commonplace. My acquaintances do come from all over Canada and the world so I'm getting more than a local perspective, but neither do I have a sense for the conditions in Canada's outlying rural regions.

The real point that seems to be missed by you and many others is that the system has a fair basis whereas the US does not. More money may be needed to improve operations, but the foundation the system is built upon is sound. Any delays are the result of cost control efforts, not a broken or flawed system.

September 29, 2013 at 5:31 p.m.
rick1 said...

rickaroo posted "To have our health insurance tied to our jobs and to have it so expensive to obtain individually is beyond their comprehension."

You are all for bigger and more controlling government so stop your crying when you don't like the outcome.

Prior to World War II, few Americans had health insurance, and most policies covered only hospital room, board, and ancillary services. During World War II, the number of persons with employment-based health insurance coverage started to increase for several reasons. When wages were frozen by the National War Labor Board and a shortage of workers occurred, employers sought ways to get around the wage controls in order to attract scarce workers, and offering health insurance was one option. Health insurance was an attractive means to recruit and retain workers during a labor shortage for two reasons: Unions supported employment-based health insurance, and workers' health benefits were not subject to income tax or Social Security payroll taxes, as were cash wages. Under the current tax code, health insurance premiums paid by employers are deductible for employers as a business expense, and are excluded, without limit, from workers' taxable income.

http://www.ebri.org/publications/facts/index.cfm?fa=0302fact

September 29, 2013 at 5:54 p.m.
rick1 said...

nucanuck, I know we do not agree on this subject and I appreciate your being civil during our discussion. I wish you the best in your retirement and we can only hope the best for our country with obamacare but only time will tell.

September 29, 2013 at 5:59 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

rick1, nobody is "crying" any louder than you Obama-hating rabid righties so STFU. Notice that I am not as civil as nucanuck. I know better than to think that your mind is going to see things the way I or any other liberal sees them, nor am I or most liberals going to see things your way. We have all argued our points and stated and restated the same things over and over and over. I only wish that we could have a parting of the ways and let you Ayn Rand worshiping wing-nuts live in your own libertarian/teabagginng utopia and we liberals could live in ours. For never the twain shall meet. The only thing that is going to bring major change to this county is an all-out revolution or a depression so severe that we suffer complete economic collapse. Revolution is unlikely because too many people are apathetic and lazy. Economic collapse is more likely, probably inevitable. It's just a matter of time. We cannot keep going with the gridlock we have now and no cohesive plans of action. Those plans would have to come from the government, by the way, and you government hating cretins won't allow of that. Big, bad, evil government and all.

September 29, 2013 at 6:09 p.m.
rick1 said...

Roo go to California and see how that liberal utopia state is doing.

Have a nice evening.

September 29, 2013 at 6:25 p.m.
anticorp said...

Good comments everyone, even rick. He is clearly trolling for negative minutia relating to the Canadian system. None are perfect. Canada and the OECD countries provide health care with better outcomes than us for everyone (on average)for less than half what we spend and we have 50 million that rely on the ER or go without until an emergency.

Rick offers no solution to bring us into parity.

It seems Tn is really going to benefit greatly from ACA. The uninsured seem to be in line for some of the lowest costs in the nation.

September 29, 2013 at 7:23 p.m.
Hunter_Bluff said...

Canada has a longer life expectancy that the US with our "best healthcare system in the world" however, we do spend 30 times more on defense than the Canadians. So, we're number 1 in something.

September 29, 2013 at 9:10 p.m.
nucanuck said...

If I applied for Canadian residency today, I would be denied. Times are changing here and everywhere. Only people with a specific needed skill are likely to get residency in the leading countries.

September 30, 2013 at 12:03 a.m.
joneses said...

We do not have the best healthcare system in the world. Obama ruined that.

September 30, 2013 at 3:50 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

Joneses, Obama didn't ruin our health care system. We didn't have the best health care system in the world in the first place. Far, far from it. Just because you are so arrogant as to think the world revolves around only you and your ilk, and you had a decent health insurance plan in place - and probably still do - that doesn't mean this country had the best health care system in the world. A country with the best health care system in the world would not allow over 40 million of its citizens to go without any health insurance at all just because it was so expensive they couldn't afford it. Or because insurance companies were allowed to reject those who needed it most. Or because a policy holder had capped out the upper limits of his policy and then was denied more insurance. At least Obama has tried to do something to improve the situation. But now you arrogant, selfish wing-nuts can only whine and whimper about how evil and destructive his plan is because you feel that your Cadillac coverage might be compromised in some small way. Awww....you poor pitiful little thing.

September 30, 2013 at 4:24 p.m.
una61 said...

If obamacare is all about affordable health insurance then why isn't it titled, "The Affordable Health Insurance Act"?

obamacare is about

September 30, 2013 at 10:19 p.m.
fairmon said...

A lot of confusion and failure to acknowledge the difference between having medical insurance and obtaining good healthcare.

October 5, 2013 at 9:23 a.m.
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