By Jason Sattler

SHOCKER: Obamacare Is Working Best In States That Aren’t Trying To Sabotage It

November 14, 2013 5:38 pm Category: Memo Pad, Politics 88 Comments A+ / A-
SHOCKER: Obamacare Is Working Best In States That Aren’t Trying To Sabotage It

The disappointing Affordable Care Act (ACA) numbers the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released on Wednesday revealed that the law is working best in the states that are — shockingly — implementing the law as it was designed.

Of the 106,185 people who have completed an application for health insurance, nearly 75 percent came from 14 states and the District of Columbia that both set up their own exchanges and expanded Medicaid.

Unsurprisingly, California and New York combined for the bulk of the enrollments, 51,769. But the most promising news from the Golden State wasn’t even included in this report.

Peter Lee, the executive director of Covered California, reported Wednesday that as of Tuesday, 60,000 Californians had signed up for insurance. Signups have increased to a rate of almost 2,500 enrollees per day in November. At that pace, the state could be expected to enroll 402,500 people by March 31 but Lee says that he expects to hit a goal of 500,000 to 700,000 people by then, which means he expects the pace to pick up by at least 640 people a day to over 3,000 enrollees.

Lee’s optimism is linked to more than the enrollment numbers. It seems California’s consumers are happy with the state’s website.

“Overall, nearly 70 percent of consumers who completed the survey found the application process easy to complete, and 88 percent of customers visiting CoveredCA.com found the information needed to choose a health plan that was right for them,” Covered California reported in a statement released Wednesday, giving Republicans another reason to hope that California isn’t a bellwether for the rest of the nation.

Red Kentucky is the only state in the union that voted for Mitt Romney and set up its own exchange, thanks in large part to Democratic governor Steve Beshear. The state’s site signed up a total of 32,485 Kentuckians, with 5,586 enrolling in private plans, in its first month of operation. This reduces the state’s uninsured population —estimated at 640,000 — by just over 5 percent.

Of course, it’s not hard for the states to look impressive next to the federal number that is anemically low. And not all the states that set up their own exchanges have succeeded. Oregon’s marketplace is so flawed, they didn’t even have numbers to report for October.

Implementing health care reform was never supposed to be easy.

“It’s like fixing an airplane while it’s in flight, if there is something terribly wrong with the plane,” said Timothy Jost, a health law professor at Washington & Lee University and an expert on the ACA.

And that’s without the unprecedented campaign of sabotage the right has waged. But the obstruction that has threatened the law most has been the combination of a mostly unforced error — Healthcare.gov’s disastrous launch — and Republican states refusing to launch their own exchanges. While the right is thrilled they’ve assisted in this catastrophe, it was the ancillary result of another sabotage strategy that was either masterminded or enthusiastically encouraged by Michael Cannon.

Who?

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SHOCKER: Obamacare Is Working Best In States That Aren’t Trying To Sabotage It Reviewed by on . The disappointing Affordable Care Act (ACA) numbers the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released on Wednesday revealed that the law is working bes The disappointing Affordable Care Act (ACA) numbers the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released on Wednesday revealed that the law is working bes Rating:

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  • 4sanity4all

    The White House has got to make it a priority to get Healthcare.gov up and running. I set up an account, and have been waiting for several weeks to get a decision on how I am classified, so I can shop for a policy. My state is blue, but broke, so they let the Feds site do for us, and it isn’t working. I called the number, and someone said they would help me, but they were flummoxed by the site not working. I will call again, and I will be patient, but this is not how I thought it would go. I thought if the website failed, humans would help, but it seems their hands are tied, too. And I am in a state that WANTS the coverage. I can only imagine what a mess it is in states that are TRYING to make it fail. I think the pundits took the Presidents eye off the ball with the side issue of “if you like your insurance….” I think ALL EFFORTS should be directed to getting the website working correctly, because otherwise, the number of people getting covered will be meaningless. I have been trying to get covered, I would be a person counted in the plus column, but I cannot. And I imagine that thousands, if not millions, are in this same boat.

    • melloe

      There is some tlak about the right hacking the site, which cannot help./

      • Eleanore Whitaker

        Nothing the slugs of the right do surprises me. Once you see their dictatorial sociopathy for what it really is, you realize that all we can do is push back as hard as we can. WE, not they, are the ones who have the most to lose.

        I don’t know about anyone else, but I am not planning a future of being the sole source of income for lazy Confederate bullies.

      • ChainUp
        • angelsinca

          This sounds more like something oozing out of the liberal Berkeley/Occupy crowd: “ObamaCare is an affront to the Constitutional rights of the people,” it adds. “We HAVE the right to CIVIL disobedience!”.

          • Sand_Cat

            One would expect you and others who share your views to exercise your “liberties” to deny health insurance and health care to the poor, just as Jesus would.

      • elw

        I believe that proof of that will show up in the News when someone is arrested for hacking the site. They leave tracks behind.

    • elw

      Hang in there you will get your insurance and the program will get easier to deal with time. As a person who has 30+ years of frontline health care experience I can tell all the new National Health Initiatives start out rocky but are worth going through the pain in the long run. Keep doing what you are doing it will pay off.

    • Independent1

      4sanity, a news item I came across a little bit ago indicated that the error rate on Healthcare.gov is now down to 1% of all transactions. If so, that’s certainly good news!!

      • 4sanity4all

        I went on again today, and got error messages three times, after I had gone through verifying information in my account. I am not computer illiterate, really don’t know what the deal is. I think I will call the 800 number again and see if they can help.

        • Independent1

          Sorry to hear you’re still getting errors. I wonder if it has something to do with the state you’re trying to create a policy for. I’d be interested to know if you call the 800 number and they’re able to help you resolve your errors. Hope you have better luck soon.

  • Sand_Cat

    No end of surprises…

  • Dominick Vila

    There is no denying that the software-hardware problems affecting access to ACA, couple with a well coordinate and highly effective demonization campaign, is impacting the ACA rollout and, most importantly, President Obama’s credibility. The worst problem for Democrats at the moment is not the technical and design problems impacting ACA enrollment, but the dramatic loss of confidence in President Obama. The ACA problems will be solved and the system will ultimately function as designed, but a President who does not have the trust and confidence of the American people augurs disaster for himself and his party.

    • angelsinca

      Obama lost the trust of many way before the ppACA disasters began unfolding. You can begin with HOW the ppACA was passed and extrapolate all following distrustful actions from there.

      • joyfulmeme

        What you fail to realize is that on January 20, 2009, the Republicans met to devise a plan that no matter what the new president proposed, they would not work with him. No matter what. One thing about the Rs, they stick together. So most legislation in 2009 and part of 2010 passed with only democrats. One exception was 3 Rs voted for The Recovery Act.

        How do you work with people who refuse to work with you? The President did not expect that behavior. Neither did most Americans.

        So you can blame the president which is all Rs do is the Blame Game & sit on the sidelines and carp. When will they step up and participate? It would be refreshing.

        • angelsinca

          Your version of the truth is funny. The ACTUAL timeline shows where the Dems continue to refuse to acknowledge the harmful affects of the ACA they passed. They repeatedly shun responsibility for the havoc caused by blaming the Republicans. Google ‘Democrat, super majority, ACA’.

          • joyfulmeme

            Actually, I speak the truth, not a bunch of talking points and lies. Other than Rs telling you, what facts do you have that the ACA is harmful?

            What’s harmful about the uninsured having the opportunity to obtain health insurance? What is harmful about eliminating pre-existing conditions? Is it better for Americans to continue to support uncompensated care?

            1.5% of Americans may have to pay more for health insurance. There will be no effect for 80% of Americans. 5% will be able to purchase insurance when they haven’t been able to before.

            Federal debt is driven by medical expenses 17% of GDP. Medicare/Medicaid, Veterans Benefits are the bulk of the debt. The ACA is the first step in controlling cost.

            By the way, the so call Democrat super majority only lasted a few months.

            Republicans had input in writing the ACA bill and added stuff to it. But then in lock step they all voted against it. They stuck to their commitment not to do anything as long as Obama is President. They haven’t waivered.

          • angelsinca

            “Actually, I speak the truth, not a bunch of talking points and lies.”

            Of course you do; as you see it.

            “Other than Rs telling you, what facts do you have that the ACA is harmful? What’s harmful about the uninsured having the opportunity to obtain health insurance?”

            Ask those that have lost their insurance plans or saw their premiums/copays/deductibles rise out of reach for those that live paycheck-to-paycheck.

            “What is harmful about eliminating pre-existing conditions?”

            Nothing. INSURING thoise with pre-existing could have been adressed without turning the entire system into a cluster f it is now.

            “Is it better for Americans to continue to support uncompensated care?”

            We still have it and it is called medicare.

            “1.5% of Americans may have to pay more for health insurance. There will be no effect for 80% of Americans. 5% will be able to purchase insurance when they haven’t been able to before.”

            Everybody is paying more to carry the weight for those that refused to insure themselves befor. Look back at car insurance. They said rates would go down if everyone had to buy it to drive. Same lie here with the ACA.

            “Federal debt is driven by medical expenses 17% of GDP. Medicare/Medicaid, Veterans Benefits are the bulk of the debt. The ACA is the first step in controlling cost.”

            What they didn’t say is that they were trying to control the costs for the gov’t, not the consumer. SS was going broke fast. With a trillion dollar annual operating defecit, the fastrack to SS insolvency had to be diverted. The ACA is that diversion. This scheme puts that burden back on the taxpayer. EVERYONE is having to pay more directly or indirectly because of the spending spree by the Dem super majority’s glut of of economically burdensome legislation.

            “By the way, the so call Democrat super majority only lasted a few months. Republicans had input in writing the ACA bill and added stuff to it. But then in lock step they all voted against it. They stuck to their commitment not to do anything as long as Obama is President. They haven’t waivered.”

            It isn’t about Obama. It’s about the people and how they can be best served by gov’t. Forcing us to do as mandated isn’t most people’s ideal way to live their lives. Not even in America.

            That do-as-we-command-or-we-fine-you bullshit is the line in the sand drawn by conservatives that you don’t seem to comprehend. Instead, you insist on making it a personal and/or racial issue. G’day.

          • joyfulmeme

            Finally, something we can agree on. It’s not about Obama. But the Rs make everything about Obama. Non of my post have been racial or personal.

            The country has a strong advantage when both parties work together to get to the middle. That’s not happening.

            My comments aren’t “as I see it”. The obstruction has been reported by several sources. Here’s one. There are many.

            http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/17/us/politics/17mcconnell.html?pagewanted=all

            Good day

          • angelsinca

            “The country has a strong advantage when both parties work together to get to the middle. That’s not happening.”

            Good plan. Too bad your Dem leaders and the president don’t feel cooperation with the GOP is necessary.

            “My comments aren’t “as I see it”. The obstruction has been reported by several sources. Here’s one. There are many.”

            The Glass House term comes to mind. WHen you take a few very isolated instances and apply the onerous practice to the entire GOP, you have taken an extra step beyond reality to suit your own perception. This is how prejudices and bigotry are formed.

          • Vinny Gordon

            That’s why they are really worried, once it takes hold people will never let it go. Just like Medicare and Social Security. They need to stop it now, for as ACA grows and the real benefits kick in the GOP will just have to accept it.

          • angelsinca

            “That’s why they (Republicans) are really worried, once it takes hold people will never let it go. Just like Medicare and Social Security.”

            Not really. An attentive and honest person would see that 1) Medicare and SS are the only options for most civilians, especially the 49 million now on welfare and the aging poor, and 2) we’ve all been witnessing the nearing bankruptcy of SS and Medicare for over twenty years now, hoping we wouldn’t be the ones caught without the safety net. The money my family could have put into the 401k will now go to the less-affordable health care debacle.

          • Vinny Gordon

            Well if the ACA was so harmful to the Democrats, I as a Republican would step out of the way. Let the damage be done and all blame goes to the Democrats. But by trying to stop it, with deception, lies, fear, major disaster Pearl Harbor, Titanic, Hurricane Katrina all minor disasters compare to the ACA. You open the door to it is not working because the GOP is sabotaging.

            The word comes from the French word for shoe, the workers would throw a shoe into the machinery to stop production so they could have a break.

            Let the disaster come, let it happen, get out of its way, let the Democrats take full credit, see we did nothing but watched in horror as the world came to an end. I will be able to tell my grand kids stories of the earth before ACA. They will look at me in wonder and cry.

            People having health care, no way, no way. Rapture time rapture time. I am glad I became raptured in my lifetime.

          • angelsinca

            Don’t care much for making the Democrats look bad-they do that fine themselves. What we really need is a leader to end the pettiness and divisiveness. Obama is not The One, obviously.

          • Vinny Gordon

            Harmful effects to the insurance companies, which are the GOP real base.

            Pre existing conditions no more
            Being dropped no more
            Procedures denied, no more
            Gauging, no more
            Kids kicked off at the age of 18, no more
            Junk plans, no more

            Free preventative care
            Free birth control
            Women charged that same as men
            Those harmful effects are for the insurance companies, not the consumers. But thank you for sticking up for the insurance companies, maybe you can get a fair share of one the CEO big bonuses. Go submit your resume and become a paid lobbyist. Don;t let them use you. at least get recognition, a pen or a cup will do.

          • angelsinca

            There ‘ain’t no free lunch’, Vinny. I don’t need birth control, but thanks for making me pay for it. No ONE is denying the benefits wrought by the ACA, despite accustaions otherwise. We (the majority of Americans) have a tough time digesting forced measures, being lied to, watching the president break the law to fix the mess, and having the negative effects ignored hoping they will just go away. Denial is the Dems mantra, I know. But if we all became a bit more focused on correcting the inherent flaws of the ppACA and actually listening to the genuine deep concerns of the people, then acting on them, there wouldn’t be any time for posting idiotic slights about sleeping with insurance CEOs.

          • Vinny Gordon

            Get used to forced measures, speed limits, drinking age, car insurance, home owners associations, IRS, nature, decency laws, state taxes, tolls, the list goes on
            Corrections are needed. But the GOP mantra is repeal you do not have a replacement, the GOP wants the flaws in there to prove their point that the whole ACA to go away and start anew.
            I did not say you were sleeping with CEOs, but you are espousing their talking points. The insurance companies want to go back to their golden era, where there was no ACA. No oversight, just profits, bonuses, and less health care.

          • angelsinca

            “Get used to forced measures”

            I’d rather not. Will just have to wait until those that think THEY know what’s best for others are out of office. Grouping the ppACA along with your otherlisted ‘mandates’ is comparing apples and oranges, mostly. Because it’s law doesn’t make it right. The ACA is unpopular, agreeably flawed and propped up for political purposes. The Dems have refused to budge or admit its failings and until recently when they found a way to blame Reps or the ‘evil’ insuring empire for the monstrosity. Instead of waiting for Republicans to offer up another plan, why not just fix it, repeal it or replace it instead of imposing presidental ad hoc illegal tweaks?? This aversion to working with Congress by breaking the law will likely be the final straw for Look-at-Me Obama and Look-the-other-Way Holder.

    • 4sanity4all

      People need to stop jumping when the media outlets tell them to. The press conflates everything into a big deal, and people get all upset. I am being patient, because I know that this will ultimately work out well. There were no news stories in Massachusetts when few people enrolled at first; no one was keeping track. And now most of that state has health insurance, it took time for them all to sign up, procrastinating as people do. Don’t let the Right wing scare you into blaming this on the President. I still have trust in him, and I bet some day we will get to know all of the dirty tricks and nasty bad acts they pulled on him. We can’t lose faith in the Pres, because if we do, the Right will have won our hearts and minds.

      • Dominick Vila

        I trust and support President Obama. Unfortunately, the far right, and a complicit media more interest in gaining market share than factual journalism, have managed to demonize his agenda and accomplishments by distorting facts, ignoring accomplishments, hyperbole, and by outright lying.
        Demonizing the President because he quoted ACA 1251, and ignoring that those impacted by the need to replace existing individual policies that were not grandfathered when ACA became law, or that were changed after ACA became law, ignores that fact that those affected are only 2% to 3%, and that the rest of our population, especially the 40 million Americans who had not had access to adequate medical care – other than an occasional visit to an ER when it was often too late to mitigate or eliminate the effects of serious illnesses – and the fact that the overwhelming majority of folks enrolling in ACA, in states that agreed to expand MEDICAID, are getting quotes and are being charged premiums that are much lower than those quoted by the insurance industry before ACA became law.
        The so called “scandals”, (IRS, Benghazi and others) ignore what has happened throughout our history, the fact that presidents are not informed when trivial matters or decisions are made, and ignore the huge accomplishments made by President Obama and Democrats in Congress during the last 5 years or so. The determination of his detractors is not surprising, it is actually understandable when we consider that his inquisitors are people who never offer viable alternatives to the policies he has championed and signed, who failed us when they controlled the White House and both chambers of Congress, and who are largely responsible for the foreign policy fiascos and the economic chaos that President Obama inherited when he was inaugurate in January 2009.
        Unfortunately, there are enough Americans who for a variety of reasons are willing to accept the most bizarre claims and ignore the obvious. Ignoring the effects of the highly effective demonization campaign launched against his record and his persona is dangerous. We have to go no further than look at the GOP fixation on Benghazi, and compare that single tragedy to what happened during W’s tenure to understand how far the GOP is willing to go to score political points, and the naiveté of so many Americans.

  • Eleanore Whitaker

    Anyone who thought the HMO Kings were about to be put in their place without a major battle can forget it. When you are Benmosche of AIG and get a $10.6 million bonus in a single year? The reality is that until the government steps in and puts a stop to the thieving of these drug and HMO conglomerates, no American will ever be more than a paycheck to HMO Kings.

    When generic prescription drugs begin to cost what brand names do and the HMOs are the ones responsible for directing where we buy our prescriptions and which prescriptions they will pay for, this is nothing but Rich Man BS.

  • Eleanore Whitaker

    See those Cheshire cat grins on the faces of the GOP bull tyrants? That’s their orgasmic expression at having found the ideal way to sabotage the ACA. They do NOT want healthcare reform. They want every American to keep the flow of billions going to the rich bois who own these HMOs. It’s long past time to put a stop to this kind of thievery. They play their bait and switch games by trying to undercut their competitors to get people to sign onto their HMO plans and then the minute renewal time comes around, the cost of the plan is jacked. That’s more BS than a kid in kindergarten wouldn’t notice.

  • angelsinca

    “Signups (in CA) have increased to a rate of almost 2,500 enrollees per day in November. At that pace, the state could be expected to enroll 402,500 people by March 31″.

    At that pace, the state’s 30 million residents will all be enrolled by the year 2046.

    • Vinny Gordon

      Not all 30 million people are without insurance. The ACA is for people who do not have insurance. You are counting people who have insurance and will not use the web site, they get their insurance through their employer. Also some people have Medicare, Medicaid, VA, those will not need to use the web site.

      • Mama62

        angelsinca is just spreading more nonsense. This program is for people who did not have insurance, who could not buy insurance or who have substandard insurance, not for the millions who have insurance, through their employers.

        • David Frick

          Let’s utilize the right figure: 7.1 million uninsured Californians. Once employers start dumping low-end employees off their healthcare plans an onto the government exchanges, that figure will conservatively be around 10 million. So at 2,500 a day, we’ll have everyone insured by 2024.

          • Mama62

            And exactly how is this worse than people having no insurance and no hope of getting any? Im sure if 7.1 million people are trying to sign up, they will find a way to accommodate them. All good things come to those who wait.. :- )

          • Allan Richardson

            I believe the article said the rate of INCREASE was 2500 a day. In other words, each day 2500 MORE people are signing up than the day before. Obviously, as the “goal” is reached, this rate of increase will stabilize, but at a much higher daily rate than 2500.

          • David Frick

            Basic math would indicate that’s false. There would have to be more than 2 million people already signed up instead of ~100K.

          • Vinny Gordon

            Basic logic, people wait until the last minute. It is human nature. The administration and insurance companies are holding off on their big ad buy that was suppose to kick in with the start of enrollment. But because the glitches, they decided to hold off until the website got fixed. Just wait until the ads start coming, those ads will move people to at least check it out.

            So the website has not been properly promoted only in a negative way. The insurance companies want all that business they are not going to walk away from getting new customers which are going to be subsidized.
            If you were in a business where potential customers were going to get subsidized by the Feds, you would be wanting that piece of the action. I took a tax rebate on installing a new AC and insulation, guess who got me to buy, the AC company. They sent mailers promoting the government subsidy.

          • David Frick

            Many reasons.

            1) I’m paying morons/bureaucrats in the federal government who have had three years to figure this out. That’s billions down the drain.
            2) ~3.5 million of those people don’t want to sign up for insurance, they are being forced to.
            3) Adverse selection. The people who will sign up are the sickest ones, which means we’ll all be paying significantly higher insurance premiums when we get our annual enrollment a year from now.
            4) As with any federal program, the scale of fraud will be massive.

          • Sand_Cat

            You paid BILIIONS?!!!! Wow, maybe a few of the rich do pay their share.

          • Vinny Gordon

            I rather see this money according to you be blown on health care, than the money blown really blown on an unnecessary Iraq war. Plus those oil, big ag, offshore income tax shelters.

          • Vinny Gordon

            1: Billions, why not trillions
            2. Most sane people want insurance, but can not afford it
            3. Young people will sign up, time will tell
            4. Enron, Madoff, banksters, fraud is both private and public
            ACA has strengthen laws to fight fraud.

          • David Frick

            1) Depends on your frame of reference. If you’re going to a 10-20 year horizon, then you’re right, trillions.
            2) Most people have insurance. 80% in fact. 10% don’t see the value in it. We’re spending a lot of money on providing insurance to 10% of the population.
            3) It’s economically irrational for young people to sign up when they will pay more than they will receive in benefits.

            4) All those people you mentioned are out of business and/or in jail. That’s the beauty of the free market, poor decisions result in consequences. The government is so poorly run, it can’t even figure out where it wastes money or is defrauded. The current joke of the day is the guy who didn’t work for the EPA for 22 years and collected $900,000 in pay. When a government agency gets defrauded, its response is to ask for more money.

          • Vinny Gordon

            3: The average stay in a hospital is $10K per day. So by your logic paying $100 per month is cheaper than running the risk.

            I have car insurance, I haven’t filed a claim in decades, but I rather pay for it then run the risk of a car accident.

            4 Out of business after they swindled hundreds, so it will take the death of a few in order for the rest of us to know not to eat at a certain restaurant.

          • David Frick

            20% of medical bills never get paid (i.e. are absorbed by the hospital system and socialized amongst other users), so you won’t have to pay anyway. Absolute worst case you can file bankruptcy to eliminate your debt with little consequence since most young have few assets.

            Does your car insurance cover tire rotation, oil changes, and other basic maintenance? I’m guessing no. How about AWD repair when you have a FWD? The ACA mandates insurance coverage for birth control, mental health care, annual checkups, and maternity even if it’s unlikely you need or want that. This is a good example for how central planning increases costs.

            The top 20% pay 4x the cost of the benefits they get from the government, which is a more systemic method of being swindled.

          • Sand_Cat

            Speak to the employers.

          • Vinny Gordon

            Why do you assume it will be 2,500 per day? Just massage the numbers to get your end results..
            How about 1 million per month. That means 10 months.

            If the IRS can process income tax returns in a few months, why not a functional ACA website?

          • David Frick

            That’s the number mentioned in the article as being signed up per day.

            As is becoming apparent, managing government-run IT databases and figuring out the calculus of healthcare costs is very difficult. Sadly, the whole thing will mean higher costs for the rest of us if the bungling continues as only the sick/poor will sign up and the rest of us will pay for it. There’s very little reason that a healthy, young person would spend hours online trying to sign up for healthcare through healthcare.gov. And don’t bother with mentioning the fine; at the income levels where subsidies are being provided, no one will ever audit you, least of which this administration who is worried about public perception of the IRS beating on the door of poor people who couldn’t figure out a dysfunctional web site.

          • Vinny Gordon

            Time will tell, but if it is such a disaster then let it happen.

            The seniors revolted in 1991 with the catastrophic coverage. But the program was passed and implemented, then the results were known.
            Poor people will be covered by Medicaid a totally different system that is functioning properly.

            Poor people do not always stay poor there is upward mobility, health insurance will add to that.
            States that have accepted Medicaid will now have a distinct financial advantage over luring new businesses.

            If you wanted to start a new business, would you go to state has health coverage for its workers, one where you do not have to pay for it?. Plus those states will have healthier workforce. Health coverage is very expensive.
            I believe for financial reason alone, Medicaid state will get my business all else being equal.

          • David Frick

            The catastrophic coverage in 1991 wasn’t going to cost the rest of us $100B/year. Look for premiums to go up several hundred dollars when 2015 insurance policies are unveiled.

            The vast majority of people on Medicaid are unskilled, otherwise they would be making more than the Medicaid income limits (~$25K/year). So the value to a business is limited unless your business involves unskilled workers. Those are largely service-based, which means they are geographically determined (i.e. Wendy’s and McDonald’s will both locate in each kind of state and neither will have a competitive advantage in the given state).

          • Vinny Gordon

            All those assembly line workers are also unskilled. What skill does it take to keep bolting the same part over and over again? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHsIqBwhpxs
            Please watch the video and tell me how long it would take to train some one to do that? One day, one year, college degree,
            A few hours at best.

          • David Frick

            Those people make too much to be on Medicaid. So there’s no advantage to an employer putting operations in state with expanded Medicaid. That was your point, right?

          • Vinny Gordon

            That vast majority of people also vote. If you think that the passage of ACA was messy, just look at how the GOP passed Medicare prescription. Extortion, withholding the true cost, delaying the vote by hours, budget busting, unfunded, no bids on purchase of drugs. All done so GWB could carry the senior vote. Guess what, he did carry the senior vote.

            http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/11/19/medicare-part-d-republican-budget-busting/?BU-D-E-AD-OB-TXT-BUS-ROS-0512-NA&_r=0

          • David Frick

            Did a Democrat vote for it? Then it was more bipartisan than the ACA.

      • angelsinca

        Of course, Vinny. See David Frick’s estimate. Still, a sow’s ear doesn’t look anymore appealing when described as a purse.

      • angelsinca

        Funny math you present there, Vinny. I count only myself that can no longer afford the ACA-inflated healthcare premiums or co-cays or deductibles. I will now die before I am 70, I am quite sure, unable to afford care. Thanks Obamacare.

        • Vinny Gordon

          I bet at 65 you will sign up for Medicare, just like Stossel, Romney, Ayn Rand, did. Can you afford Medicare?. I can plus I pay $149 per month Medicare Part D.

  • CooofNJ

    I was the family member who signed up people for Medicare Part D. It was an absolute nightmare but I don’t recall anywhere near the amount of gnashing of the teeth and blame on the Bush admin for that mess. It took several years for it to work out, and now it is running smoothly. Anyone who has every implemented a new program knows that start up is ALWAYS a bitch.

  • FT66

    Many thanks Jason Sattler for preparing this very positive article about ACA. The first time ever since enrollment of ACA, am coming across something which is very encouraging. This is the good example of how reporters have to work, if at all they believe ACA is a necessity to those who need it most and that they have to do their work as its required to be. Rushing to negatives doesn’t help anyone. Am a true believer that ACA is going to work properly. What it needs is: time, chance, tolerance and understanding. I also believe those folks in red States who need it badly like any other, and their governors tended to ignore it, in the end are going to punish them accordingly.

  • howa4x

    It will be interesting when Dr. NO McConnell runs in the general election on getting rid of the health exchanges. By November of next year 100,000 Kentucky residents will have insurance coverage and will be able to access the healthcare system for the first time. As for the rest of the red states they will have to figure out a way to keep their hospital systems a float, since they are keeping a large number of uninsured in their states that will access the HC system through the ER. Which is what the republicans are telling people to do. This is the most expensive portal to enter the system for care. Hospitals will only get about .10 cents on the dollar for every patient. We’ve seen hospital systems in NJ go under with a payer mix that is heavily weighted toward Medicaid/Medicare and the uninsured. Tx has the largest uninsured population in the country. If the state wants to make sure that no hospitals close then they will have to dip deep in the state treasury, as will all the other renegade states. Miss, Ala, Ark, La, all have large numbers of uninsured and lead the country in poor health outcomes. If they think that allowing more Wal-Marts, in or more fast food will solve their unemployment problem, they better think again since these stores offer no benefits to workers and will only add them to the ranks of he uninsured.
    What’s worse for the Red states is that their residents will see how many people are getting insured in Blue states and will begin to wonder why it is not happening where they live.
    There is trouble ahead in Red state America

    • highpckts

      One can only hope!!

    • JenellYB

      Texas is already ahead of the game on how to handle problems related anticipated increases in ER service demand. ER’s have been closing in Texas at an alarming rate for a few years now, while what are called “24/7 Urgent Care Clinics” are opening all over the place. These private “Urgent Care Clinics” provide much the same kinds of services as traditional ER’s, short of major trauma and immediately life-threatening conditions such as heart attacks, which are referred to another “new” kind of facility taking the place of ER’s at some of the larger hospitals, called “trauma centers.”
      These new “Urgent Care clinics” are not bound by the laws as ER’s are, to treat patients without regard to ability to pay, since they don’t accept or treat immediate life-threatening conditions. Since they refer immediate life-threatening conditions to the “Trauma Centers” which do treat even if patient cannot pay, but which do not accept patients with less serious conditions, those patients with non immediate life-threatening conditions and no insurance or cash to pay are left to seek out fewer and fewer ER’s. Waiting times at many ER’s in the Houston metroplex and surrounding areas for non-critical patient without insurance are commonly as long as 18-24 hours. Standard at ERs now is a $500-$800 ER charge the patient must agree to EVEN BEFORE SEEING a TRIAGE NURSE, and that WILL be billed to them even if after that 18-24 hour wait still without having seen a doctor, they give up and leave without seeing one at all.

      • howa4x

        I know I used to serve on the bd of a hospital and we tried to get the uninsured out of the ER because of the unpaid expenses the hospital had to absorb. I was in Public health can we created a clinic to side stream the uninsured to. I think in Red states the hospital systems will be in deep financial difficulty. They are trying to obstruct Obama/ Romney care and will pay a steep prince down the road. Some won’t even take the Medicaid expansion and the HC system in that state will suffer. Republicans have turned into cruel, heartless and sadistic people who would rather cling to an ideology and allow people to suffer for it than take money to fix the problem.

  • David Frick

    I know the solution: flush more money down the toilet.

    • Mama62

      And your solution for insuring people is ??

      • Independent1

        The GOP doesn’t have any interest in insuring people – their moto is: Try not to live too long!
        And with residents in some red states already living as much as 5-6 years less than the residents in a number of blue states – maybe the GOP moto is working for them: the average life expectancy for people living in in 4 red states: MS, WV, AL, LA is 75 whereas the life expectancy for 9 Blue states is 80 & 81 in CA, CT, HI, MA, MN, NJ, NH, NY & VT. And even overall, people in red states are starting to live shorter lives than people in blue states – an average of 2 years shorter.

      • David Frick

        Let them pay for it.

        • Mama62

          What if they can’t? What if they work 40-50 hours a week for 8-10.00 an hour and need food and shelter and transportation and there is nothing left? What if they have a medical condition or a child with a medical condition and no one would sell them insurance at any price they could afford? What if they lose their job at 60 years old and find oops, their Cobra policy is 1500.00 a month? Etc, etc, etc…Sounds like you live in a different world than the majority of the population. “Let them pay for it” is not a solution, just a nasty remark. Got any real solutions?

          • David Frick

            That’s one example of why Americans spend $330B/year in charitable donations: to take care of their fellow Americans. The same goes for emergency healthcare. The difference between your plan and my plan is 1) compulsion and 2) whether we have an inefficient government agency running the show. The fact that premiums are as high as they are is because of government subsidies. You can see that in every example where government is involved that costs accelerate faster than inflation, higher education and healthcare being the most egregious examples.

          • Independent1

            Pure BS, insurance premiums are high because healthcare costs are high. And why? for 2 main reason: 1) because a president named Reagan signed a flawed law which is today being used by millions of Americans to get their healthcare via hospital emergency rooms – the majority FOR FREE. Reagan signed the law that requires hospitals to provide healthcare to anyone who walks in the door and claims they’re having an emergency. What’s resulted is that 40 plus million people have been taking advantage of this law, more often than not, running up hospital and doctor bills that they can’t pay for – somethings hundreds of thousands of dollars of hospital bills. So because hospitals and healthcare givers have found that they’ve often had to wait for months even years to get reimbursed for these costs – they’ve had to double, triple even quadruple their fees to make up for the millions in healthcare they’re providing and not getting reimbursed for.

            2) The second biggest problem is America doesn’t have a single-payer program. What this means is that there isn’t any group that has enough bargaining power to actually get drug companies, hospitals, doctors, etc. to actually negotiate lower prices. This is the main reason why some monthly medications prescriptions in America may be close to $100 for example, while in Canada or overseas, the same prescription may well sell for under $10. And the same goes for doctors, labs and hospital bills. Since no group is big enough to negotiate truly lower costs, many smaller groups have to end up paying, whatever is billed!!! Which can be significantly higher than in any other country on the planet.

            And only someone totally delusional or a complete idiot could ever believe that the needs of American’s living below the poverty level could be even remotely taken care of by charitable donations.

            Anything the private sector can run while trying to make a profit at it, can be run multiple times more efficiently by a government agency that’s not focused on making a profit. Medicare is a light years more efficient operation than any private sector insurance company will ever be!!!

          • David Frick

            So your #1 response is that Reagan was too socialist and your #2 response is that we should be even more socialist. Nice logic.

          • Independent1

            You obviously don’t even understand the meaning of the term socialist or socialism:

            socialism

            n.noun

            Any of various theories or systems of social organization in which the means of producing and distributing goods is owned collectively or by a centralized government that often plans and controls the economy.

            The stage in Marxist-Leninist theory intermediate between capitalism and communism, in which collective ownership of the economy under the dictatorship of the proletariat has not yet been successfully achieved.

            Establishing a healthcare package that does nothing more than provide guidelines by which PRIVATE SECTOR INSURANCE COMPANIES MUST PLAY FAIRLY WITH THE POPULACE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH SOCIALISM!!!!!!

            Neither does providing subsidies to people who are unfortunate enough to be poor such that they can maintain their own lives in a healfthful way.

          • David Frick

            It’s socialized cost when the most you can charge an old person is 3x what you charge a young person. Or when you can be treated at a hospital without any means of paying, whereby the cost is shared by everyone else. It’s socialized cost when people receive subsidies for care they can’t pay for and the rest of us get the bill. That’s exactly what the definition you wrote says: a centralized government dictating the rules of distribution of a good or service. Thanks for proving my case.

          • Independent1

            You just keep distorting the meaning – NO ONE OWNS ANYTHING COLLECTIVELY – in socialism, there is no such thing as a ‘PRIVATE SECTOR’. The people own everything collectively – AS THE DEFINITION CLEARLY STATES!!

            Because everyone in America PAYS IN to the government for the services they expect the government to provide, this in no way makes the services they receive as part of the taxes they pay (and despite what Mitt Romney wanted to claim, THERE ARE NOT 47% OF AMERICANS THAT DO NOT PAY TAXES).

            Everyone in America (aside from those who are possibly homeless), pay some form of taxation, be it property taxes, sales taxes, income taxes, usage fees, whatever, and therefore deserve the services that government provides. AND THIS IS IN NO WAY SOCIALISTIC OR SOCIALISM.
            YOU REALLY DON’T UNDERSTAND THE CONCEPT!!!

          • David Frick

            That’s actually communism, which is common ownership of all means of production. You really should take a poli sci course some time. I’d also say that portions of activities can be socialistic without the entire universe being a communistic society. Any cost that gets shared by everyone in a society or community can be said to be socialized.

            The bottom 20% receive 8x the benefits they pay for, and the top 20% receive 1/4 the benefits they pay for. Sounds like a crappy deal for rich people.

            fyi- I’m done with this string since you are obviously not highly educated ($5 you don’t have a bachelor’s degree) and it’s a waste of time to continue to reply.

          • Independent1

            Sorry clueless but Communism is where THE GOVERNMENT owns everything and a group of “leaders” dole out to the peons what THE GOVERNMENT wants them to have – which isn’t much of anything – everyone supposedly gets about the same thing which amounts to next to nothing.

            And you’re rant about the bottom 20% getting all the benefits is really pretty lame when you look at this chart which shows that the top 20% in America have 93% of the wealth – so even if the bottom 80% get some benefits – how much can those benefits be worth if the top 20% owns 93% of everything???

            Boy are you dumb!!!!!!!!!! You don’t even know when YOU’RE REALLY BEING HAD!!!!!

            (PS: AND THIS IS A LITTLE OLDER CHART – THE INEQUALITY IS EVEN WORSE TODAY THAN THIS CHART SHOWS!!!!)

          • David Frick

            That’s actually tyranny. Keep trying.

            You didn’t state why it was wrong that the top 20% own 93% of everything? They do that by providing goods and services to people that they want to purchase. It’s an optional arrangement based on free trade, and at least in America, the consumer is king. Fail to meet their needs and you’ll be part of the bottom 20% in no time.

            That’s as opposed to your system, whereby person A decides person B is too poor and utilizes them as a patsy so as to take from what person C has earned and gives it to whomever they deem most worthy (and likely to vote for them in the next election).

          • Independent1

            Man are you delusional!!! The top 20% sucks the wealth from the bottom 80% mostly through outright robbery!! Pushing money into the pockets of polititians that game the system to funnel trillions of tax dollars into the pockets of totally worthless nincompoops in the top 1%!!! You better go get a mental checkup!!!!!!!

          • David Frick

            So your solution to the government funneling money to their cronies is to provide more power to the government so they an funnel even more money to their cronies? Good one, again. Seriously, you have me rolling. I take back my comment about how that comment was my last one. Everyone needs a good chuckle now and again.

          • JenellYB

            I DO have a B.S. degree, have studied government and economics, and must agree Independent 1 is closer in definitions and demonstrations of socialism than you are, David Frick.

          • David Frick

            You should request your money back. Independent has a problem with ALL CAPS, so it may be hard for him/her to identify Socialism vs socialism.

  • elw

    It is rather unfair to compare Medicare Part D implementation to that of the ACA’s. While the implementation of Medicare Part D was a real nightmare with its delays and glitches, it also had a long established support system to hook into since it was part of Medicare. I was there on the frontlines when it was implement, people wanted it so in the long run it worked out. The Federal Exchange was established for the States that have refused to support the ACA by implementing their own exchange, so there is no support system for in those States to help people through the issues and problems. It should not be assumed that the people in those States do not want the coverage, many of those States not participating have very high uninsured rates and are also not participating in the Medicaid expansion. Eventually there will be lots of comparison between the States with ACA coverage and those without it and you will see a slow and steady spread of new State exchanges popping up. Starting new National Programs are not easy, always slow in the beginning but they have a long history of getting smoother and better with time. The opponents of the program will continue to scream, yell and make up things, but the bottom line is American want and feel it their right to have affordable access to health care coverage and they will be patient and end up getting it. It is a losing fight for the Right, they are just too stupid to see that.

  • Socialism: Organized Evil

    Always keep in mind that Hussein Obama’s primary war is against the Constitution of the United States.

    • Independent1

      Let’s see a list of those supposed violations that Obama has committed with respect to the Contitution!! He’s accomplished more for America than any president since Teddy Roosevelt, excepting maybe FDR and that’s debatable.

    • JenellYB

      You idiots are so obvious.

  • rustacus21

    Surprise SURPRISE!!!! Who would have guessed in a million YEARS?!?! Liberal/Progressive excellence at its BEST yet AGAIN!!! Why we, as a nation don’t follow logic & just do what OUR Liberal/Progressive CONSTITUTION orders us – only being CONSERVATIVE in our acceptance of CONSERVATIVE policies & initiatives – as in, not listening to them at ALL!!!

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