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Starting to feel Obamacare

2013-01-23T00:00:00Z Starting to feel ObamacareBobby Spilker Helena Helena Independent Record
January 23, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Obamacare is just in the early stages of being implemented and already we are seeing the negative re-sults here in Helena. Note the advertisement in Jan. 20 IR by two local doctors saying that they won’t accept Medicare or Medicaid payments. I sympathize with them, but how many more will do the same thing?

Bobby Spilker

Helena

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(17) Comments

  1. ThatDevGuy
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    ThatDevGuy - March 06, 2013 8:21 am
    Pick & choose? Neither of those definitions you provided differ from the one I provided. And no, actually it doesn't fit either of those definitions. "owned and controlled by the state" ... "advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration" ... The insurance companies are still corporations, they are not owned, controlled or administered by the government. Medicare and Medicaid are administered by the government, but oddly nobody screams about how that's socialism. And what about Medicare plan D, enacted by the previous administration? Guess what? That's socialism.

    And yes, in theory, ACA does plenty to lower costs. The reason insurance premiums are so high is because the cost of health care is so high. One of the big reasons that health care costs are so high is because so many people without insurance can't afford to pay for the emergency care they receive, thus the providers increase the cost of services and goods across the board to make up for it (read: subsidize). Do you really think a single Tylenol pill costs the hospital $1.50? Because that's what they charge you for it. So, when it's mandated that everyone have insurance, theoretically providers will be getting paid for more of the services they provide, and (again, theoretically, because here's where greed comes into play) the providers can then lower the costs of goods & services. Now, when that Tylenol costs $0.25, and the cost of those 6 stitches I got a month ago goes down by half, the insurance companies won't have to pay the providers so much, and (again, theoretically, because here's where greed comes into play) they can then reduce premiums.
  2. catspaw
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    catspaw - January 31, 2013 12:58 pm
    DevGuy,

    Nice reply filled with accurate and meaningful information. Too bad some folks cant see the forrest through the trees.
  3. dietz1963
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    dietz1963 - January 30, 2013 2:31 pm
    I love how people pick and choose definitions to suit their definition without listing all definitions. Not to mention that ACA does NOTHING to lower costs, which has been the biggest problem in the first place. Minimum $500 a month for health insurance isn't chump change, particularily when the average pay in this state is $40K (before taxes of course) So, from the good old dictionary, socialism:

    Any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods

    A system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state

    Government mandated insurance with the idea all are covered or fined at tax time....fits either of these definitions.
  4. JMWB
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    JMWB - January 30, 2013 2:01 pm
    Amen. Nice summary.
  5. ThatDevGuy
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    ThatDevGuy - January 30, 2013 9:33 am
    I love the fact that the only people who are using the term "socialism" to describe everything this administration does have no idea what it means. Seriously, go spend 10 seconds on Wikipedia.

    "Socialism refers to an economic system characterised by social ownership of the means of production and co-operative management of the economy. 'Social ownership' may refer to cooperative enterprises, common ownership, state ownership, or citizen ownership of equity."

    Now, using that small tidbit of information, let's look at the 3 major health coverage options: Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance companies (which are the focus of the ACA/Obamacare). Which of those 3 share any similarity with the above definition? That's right, Medicare and Medicaid! Socialized health care is what Canada, Australia, most of Europe, and, well, most of the rest of the civilized world, has -- healthcare that is completely funded through taxes. Tax rates are high (think 40%+ for low/middle class), and you don't pay a dime out of pocket for any healthcare; no up-front costs, no bills.

    Now, the ACA on the other hand, is primarily concerned with private insurance. One of the main areas of the ACA that people are upset about is the individual mandate. The individual mandate is telling citizens that they must have health coverage. It doesn't care one way or the other which form of health coverage we have, as long as we have it. And since Medicare and Medicaid have qualifying conditions/circumstances, be it age, income, whatever, those are not freely-available options. So let's just operate under the assumption that for most of us, ACA is telling us to buy insurance from a private company (Aetna, BCBS, New West, Cigna, etc.). Now, let's ignore all political parties and the FUD spread by BOTH sides for a minute, and take an objective look at things. When the government mandates that a private citizen purchases services from a private company, does that sound like the above rough description of socialism? Or does it sound more like ... capitalism? Remember, you're purchasing a service from a private company, not a socially owned and controlled company. Perhaps it sounds like a corrupt version of capitalism in which the private industry is helping draft laws that serve their profit margins?

    Also, a bit of research also shows that the ACA is nearly identical to the system put in place in 2006 in Massachusetts by then-governor ... wait for it ... Mitt Romney. Now, guess how many people screamed about socialism over this system. 0. In fact, it (and Romney) was widely praised on both ends of the political spectrum. So, when it's enacted by Romney, it's a great idea. When it's enacted by Obama, it's socialism and it's destroying the fabric of this nation.

    Want to know what's really destroying the fabric of this nation? The constant partisanship, finger-pointing, blaming, name-calling, and FUD. Refusing to even listen to ideas from the other side, simply because you perceive them as the enemy. Screaming about socialism at every opportunity and calling for revolution, but not presenting any rational discussion. You don't like the current implementation? Fine, I don't think it's the best system we could've put in place either. But do something constructive and present some different ideas, rather than misusing political terms and spouting off the FUD presented by your choice of media.
  6. Montana Mike
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    Montana Mike - January 29, 2013 9:56 pm
    When it comes to cost of this program....you ain't seen nothin' yet, my friend.
  7. steeline
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    steeline - January 28, 2013 8:26 pm
    All I know for sure is my health insurance premium went up this year. I went to the dentist and he wouldn't accept my insurance at all, including medicare. The costs to the hospitals and doctors have not come down and when the government gets involved and tell the Dr and hospitals what they can charge it is no wonder they don't want to treat government insured. I don't blame them. It takes months to get paid by medicare. Obama care, OC dose not reduce the cost of health care to anyone who can afford insurance. For those who can't afford health insurance it may help them if they can get a doctor to see them.
  8. mtroyal
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    mtroyal - January 28, 2013 5:00 am
    Lots of questions but no answers:(1) Why the silly name "Affordable Health Care Act" Sounds like an insurance Company Ad. I can't look at someonw and say "you can afford this" How can anyone say what I can or cannot afford:(2) Can I get a 100,000$ deductible? (3) These states that opt out, do the indigents of these states now have to pay the 4,000$ per year for this "Affordable" health insurance? (3) Religions that ban the purchase of insurance (Muslims, Amish, Hutterites) don't have to buy this "Affordable" stuff, what happens if everyone joins one of these religions to get out of buying this "Affordable"stuff, (4) Mandatory "affordable" auto insurance does not work, how is this going to be enforced if people refuse to pay the fines? (probably seize your driver's license)
  9. Limber
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    Limber - January 26, 2013 2:31 pm
    Actually, Dietz, you are mistaken in claiming that because insurance is now mandatory, there is nothing to stop premium costs from rising even more. Many of us actually received a premium rebate based on the newly established benefit payout ratios. The consumer now for the first time has some legal protection against excessive insurance profit margins.
  10. FlamingLiberal1
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    FlamingLiberal1 - January 25, 2013 1:33 pm
    As I said, the majority of ACA provisions which will result in cost reduction have not yet been implemented. But go ahead and continue to complain about it. I personally like it that preexisting conditions are going away, and my children can remain on my plan until they turn 26, and lifetime maximum benefit amounts have been eliminated. I am pleased there will be fewer "free riders" thanks to the individual mandate, which will result in the hospital not charging us $8 for a box of Kleenex or a Tylenol to recoup uncompensated costs. I am glad that healthier people will be added to the risk pool, bringing overall costs down. I am happy that people will be able to afford to access care before illnesses become catastrophic, reducing their treatment costs and reducing my chances of being exposed to a disease.
  11. dietz1963
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    dietz1963 - January 24, 2013 1:22 pm
    Maybe FL you should stop excusing Obama for everything and hold him accountable. Oh thats right, only GOP gets held accountable.
  12. dietz1963
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    dietz1963 - January 24, 2013 1:21 pm
    Stay on point FL. You will not find in any post where I have called Obama a socialist. Knowing its short of getting implemented and knowing that implemention is manditory and knowing that means "more business" for health insurance, explain to me again WHY insurance rates are rising? If the bill would help, it would mandate insurance companies lower cost, mandate pharmacies lower cost and mandate that medical care cost get lower. It does NONE of this, just guarantees insurance companies get more business and guarantees if folks don't get the insurance, government can cash in at tax time.
  13. FlamingLiberal1
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    FlamingLiberal1 - January 24, 2013 11:40 am
    When you compare insurance rates to cost trends in medical care, then absolutely, the ACA is beginning to work. But the primary driver of reduced rates will be the individual mandate, which has not yet been implemented, as that will greatlly reduce uncompensated care, and add healthy people to the risk pool. How can you blame the ACA? Oh yeah, because Obama is a Socialist. Whatever. Maybe you should try to learn something, and look up socialism in the dictionary.
  14. dietz1963
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    dietz1963 - January 23, 2013 2:33 pm
    Come on FL, this person is talking about medical doctor, not dentist. Dental insurance has always been poor, covers little to nothing, private or otherwise. Health insurance on the other hand, covers much more then dental insurance but is extremely expensive in comparison. The Affordable Health Care bill does nothing to address these costs, just makes it manditory for everyone to get it, mandates companies to carry it, or face penalties at tax time. Health insurance costs continue to rise and thanks to it now being manditory, nothing to stop the costs from increasing even more. I'd like to hear from anyone, now that we are just short of a year out before this bill is in force, who has seen a drop in insurance rates? Anybody?
  15. tolerant
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    tolerant - January 23, 2013 1:55 pm
    Bobby really? I have friends in the medical field and this has been getting worse for 15 years, the Medicare plan D, the largest increase to the program ever, that was put in place by who? GHWB. The problem isn't the AHCA it's Tort reform, insurance companies, drug companies yes free enterprise. Do the reading we are number 15 in the World with our Healthcare costs and care so sad.
  16. FlamingLiberal1
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    FlamingLiberal1 - January 23, 2013 11:29 am
    The ad was political grandstanding and nothing else. I can tell you from personal experience that it was nearly impossible to find a dentist who would accept Medicaid even a couple of decades ago when I was on it. Nothing is new under the sun. Blaming it on the Affordable Care Act demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of ACA, Medicaid, Medicare, and history.
  17. hatrack71
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    hatrack71 - January 23, 2013 9:43 am
    Socialism at it's finest. Our criminal in chief will do anything to destroy the fabric of this nation. What's it gonna take to get our law makers on our side. Revolution? Congratulations, it's coming and you can't hide!

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