Linswritings

Archive for the ‘Obamacare’ Category

As a former Roman Catholic, I can tell you that Nancy Pelosi is NOT a true Catholic. Maybe she goes to church every Sunday, Easter and Christmas, but attending church may make her a practicing Catholic but it does not make her a true Catholic.

Why do I say that? Because true Roman Catholics believe in how precious life is and wouldn’t even think about abortion being a “choice.” However, Ms. Pelosi has recently said that Catholics have this “conscience” thing and is upset that the U.S. Catholic bishops wouldn’t approve the Obama administration to force insurance companies to cover birth control, contraception and drugs that could cause abortions. The bishops say that, under such a decision, some religious groups might have to provide the insurance against their moral and religious views.

This is where she disagrees with her own religious leaders.  She said, “[Those who disagree] may not like the language,’’ she told The Washington Post, “but the truth is what I said. I’m a devout Catholic and I honor my faith and love it . . . but they have this conscience thing [that puts women at risk.]”

Pelosi further told WaPo that she is also put out whenever a Catholic gives the pope’s positions on life more credence than they do hers. Why? Because Nancy Pelosi knows the personal experience of motherhood as the pope never could. Okay, she can disagree with the authority of the pope but what makes her “opinion” better than the pope’s opinion that he is following the teachings of the church?

As I said before, just going to Church and saying you are a Catholic doesn’t make you a true Catholic. If she rejects the authority how credible is she calling herself Catholic? She should be honest with herself as well as us about her true beliefs in her faith.

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On Friday, the Obama administration pulled the plug on a major program in Obamacare. The long-term care insurance plan was pulled. This is just one of the many flaws of the Obamacare plan that will soon be going away.

As you know congressional Republicans in the House repealed Obamacare but the Senate refused to bring it up. The plan is now going to the Supreme Court to make a decision. However, when you see pieces and parts of the plan being thrown out before it is implemented; you know this plan isn’t going to make it on its merits.

Known as CLASS, the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports program was a longstanding priority of the late Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Edward M. Kennedy. Although sponsored by the government, it was supposed to function as a self-sustaining voluntary insurance plan, open to working adults regardless of age or health. Workers would pay an affordable monthly premium during their careers, and could collect a modest daily cash benefit of at least $50 if they became disabled later in life. Beneficiaries could use the money for services to help them stay at home, or to help with nursing home bills.

But a central design flaw dogged CLASS from the beginning. Unless large numbers of healthy people willingly sign up during their working years, soaring premiums driven by the needs of disabled beneficiaries would destabilize it, eventually requiring a taxpayer bailout.

After months insisting that problems could be resolved, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, finally admitted Friday she doesn’t see how that can be done.

The law required the administration to certify that CLASS would remain financially solvent for 75 years before it could be put into
place. But officials said they discovered they could not make CLASS both affordable and financially solvent while keeping it a voluntary program open to virtually all workers, as the law also required.

Monthly premiums would have ranged from $235 to $391, even as high as $3,000 under some scenarios, the administration said. At those prices, healthy people were unlikely to sign up. Suggested changes geared at discouraging enrollment by people in poor health would have opened the program to court challenges, officials said.

“If healthy purchasers are not attracted … then premiums will increase, which will make it even more unattractive to purchasers
who could also obtain policies in the private market,” Kathy Greenlee, the lead official on CLASS, said in a memo to Sebelius. That “would cause the program to quickly collapse.”

That’s essentially the same conclusion that one the government’s top experts reached in 2009. Nearly a year before the health care
law passed, Richard Foster, head of long-range economic forecasts for Medicare warned administration and congressional officials that CLASS would be unworkable. His warnings were disregarded, as Obama declared his support for adding the long-term care plan to his health care bill.

Granted there are some good benefits to Obamacare such as accepting pre-existing conditions and no co-pays for wellness checks. But long-term insurance is a tricky benefit that needs fully funding. That is why you see so many insurance companies not vigorously pushing this benefit to the consumer.

Finally, President Obama acknowledged that Obamacare won’t control costs. According to an article written by Philip Klein, Senior editorial writer of the Washington Examiner it is undeniable that health care inflation — which helps drive the ballooning cost of Medicare and Medicaid — is the most significant fiscal challenge we face. The problem is, the health care plan that Obama rammed through Congress ended up making our problems worse, as it relied on the very type of accounting tricks he decried.

To make the legislation appear cheaper over the standard 10-year budget window, Obama and his Democratic allies delayed the major spending provisions until 2014. To be able to claim modest deficit reduction, they turned to other gimmicks. For instance, a new long-term care program, the Class Act, will collect years of premiums before paying out benefits — thus producing an $86 billion surplus on paper over the next decade, even though it will actually create deficits over time.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services estimated that, all told, the law would actually increase America’s spending on health care as a share of the economy by more than if we simply had done nothing to address the problem.

Beyond this, there was opportunity costs involved in Obama’s approach. The law raised taxes and made cuts to Medicare, but instead of using the money for deficit reduction, it was plowed into a new entitlement. The health care law will spend nearly $1.4 trillion in its first eight years of full implementation alone (2014 to 2021), according to the Congressional Budget Office.

The president now says that the chief barrier to tackling the debt is that Republicans in Congress won’t agree to a “balanced approach” of tax increases and spending cuts. But when his party controlled Congress, with a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, Obama didn’t push for the kind of deficit-reduction plan he now claims to support.

My question to you is, would you vote for a someone who wants to raise your taxes? Of course not! Then why do you buy Obama’s “balanced approach” idea. What he wants to do is raise taxes so the government can spend more. That’s like if you take a second job just to spend more money instead of either paying off your debt or save money for the future.

How hard it that idea to understand?

But now with Obamacare you may have to have a second job to pay for increase medical premium costs because Obamacare was never about reducing health care spending, it is a failed attempt to sell national health care — a longtime liberal dream — to a broader audience.

In my former life, I worked for a Benefit Consulting agency where I wrote benefits for private companies as well as unions. Before writing these plans we had an Account Representative that would sit down with the client to present various ideas as well as giving them financial cost and risk assessments.

During Obamacare it seemed to me that no one from Congress – especially Nancy Pelosi –received input from the professionals who know how to write and administer Health Care Benefits. It seemed to me that they just wrote down a wish list and didn’t even do any type of risk assessment. It’s just like throwing ideas on a wall to see what would stick and then go with it.

Now we are learning that key medical providers are saying the blueprint for Obamacare is so complex it’s unworkable. Mayo Clinic was one such premier organization that wrote to the administration recently saying that more than 90 percent of its members would not participate because the rules as written are so onerous it would be nearly impossible for them to succeed.

The medical groups also said that they are worried they will be left holding the bag for losses.The government has designed things so there is no easy way to tell which patients are part of the program, and that there’s no reliable way to adjust for patients who are sicker and require closer follow-up and more expensive treatments. (Wasn’t there a provision for “death panels” in this legislation?)

In addition, the medical group said in their letter to the administration that the regulations are “overly prescriptive, operationally
burdensome, and the incentives are too difficult to achieve to make this voluntary program attractive.” One of the major problems seems to be that medical groups have little experience in managing insurance risk, and the administration blueprint rapidly exposes them to potential financial losses.

So there you go. Once again this administration didn’t think through Obamacare but just like Nancy Pelosi said, “We have to pass it to see what’s in it.” What’s in this Affordable Health Care Bill are problems, problems and more problems. Dealing with this legislation is a big burden on all of us including medical providers. Besides, I believe it is unconstitutional and should be null and void.

Let’s start with a common sense medical program. Hire professional benefit consultants who do this every day to find the best medical programs for everyone and then grow it from there. Don’t let legislatures write medical benefits, they don’t know what they are doing.