Take Your Time—They Are Not Going to Run Out of Policies!

The stampede into the Exchanges only proves that the people who said that “Young Invincibles” don’t want insurance –or that older Americans won’t be able to afford the Exchange’s offerings –were wrong.

Think Progress offers snapshots of folks like Butch Matthews who have signed up for Obamacare in the past two days.

A life-long Republican, the 61-year-old Matthews was paying  over $12,000 a year for health insurance that carried a $10,000 deductible. The former small business owner had two stents placed in his heart in 2006, and the policy didn’t even cover his medication and doctors’ visits. But that was all he could find in the private sector’s individual market—until Tuesday, when he discovered that after applying his government subsidy, the silver plan sold in his Arkansas Exchange will cost him nothing. And the deductible is just $250.

“It’s a lot better plan,” said Matthews. When he goes to the doctor he will no longer have to shell out a $150 co-pay. Instead, he will owe just $8.

Until Tuesday, Matthews had been extremely skeptical about Obamacare. So what would Matthews tell other Americans who are just as skeptical today? 

“I would tell them to learn more about it before they start talking bad about it. Be more informed, get more information, take your time and study and not just go by just what you hear on one side or the other. Actually check the facts on it.. . I still am a very strong Republican, but this… I’m so happy that this came long . . .”

Why was Butch Matthews so surprised to discover how much Obamacare would help him? Because when it comes correcting the lies that conservatives have been spreading about the Affordable Care Act, the media has done a miserable job. From the beginning, rather than reporting on the content of the legislation—and the ideas and values behind reform, most pundits focused on the political debate, as if it were a sporting event. Who is  winning? Who is losing? This was far easier than delving into the details of the law.

Now, however, millions of middle-income Americans are beginning to find out for themselves what reform will mean for their families. As I have argued in the past: once they know what is actually is in the legislation, they will like it.

                            Obamacare Proves Too Popular

Never at a loss for words, the nay-sayers now are claiming that the computer glitches that we’ve seen during the first two days of enrollment serve as evidence that Obamacare is a disaster

No, the delays simply prove that modern technology is far from perfect– something I am reminded of each day. (I recently bought a new computer, complete with a new version of Windows.)  But over time, we find our way around computer glitches

Shouldn’t  the Exchanges have been prepared for the crowds? No, the polls had told Exchange planners that most people knew little about Obamacare and had no idea that they could enroll on Oct. 1. We were told that the majority were not even aware that they might receive government subsidies. (Now it appears that critics exaggerated what a bad job the government was doing when it came to publicizing the marketplaces. )

More importantly, the technical snafus say nothing about the benefits that people like Butch Matthews will receive.  In six months, if a great many Americans are complaining that the policies offered in the Exchanges are too expensive—or  just are not very good—then we might say that Obamacare is running into trouble. (Though it will probably take two years to make a judgment as to whether it is a success.)  What  matters is the quality of the product reform is delivering, not whether the process of enrolling people goes without a hitch.     

 Kentucky, the Exception that Proves It Can Be Done

Moreover, while the Federal Exchanges have been having more than their share of problems (perhaps because Washington wound up having to take responsibility for setting up the marketplaces in so many places), in  some states enrollment is proceeding smoothly.

In Kentucky, of all places, some 11,879 people already have enrolled for coverage–,and paid their first month’s premium, to boot.  (Hat-tip to Wonkblog’s Sarah Kliff.)

Governor Steve Beshear, a second-term Democrat who is also a technocrat, deserves the credit. He managed to pull this off despite furious opposition from state Republicans such as Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell, the minority leader who is up for reelection next year  If the citizens of the Bluegrass state like Obamacare, could this wind up hurting McConnell’s chances? One can only hope.

Up until now, Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Democrat who will be challenging  McConnell, has been wisely reticent on the question of reform. When pressed by reporters, Grimes has indicated that she is troubled by some parts of the Affordable Care Act and would push to “fix” some of its mandates on businesses, but not repeal the entire law

In August she said “Let’s not throw out the baby with the bath water,” noting that the law prohibits insurance companies from cancelling coverage for people with pre-existing medical conditions and allows young adults to stay on their parents’ health insurance plans until they turn 26.

If Kentuckians embrace Obamacare,no doubt she will step forward to firmly endorse reform.

“I think it is probably smart politics,” U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Louisville told the Lexington Herald-Leader.  I think she has the opportunity to wait and see how it’s received. When she starts to say positive things about it, the climate will be better for her to do that.

I agree. In Kentucky, the Affordable Care Act already has a strong supporter–Governor Beshear,  Grimes’ job is to drive Mitch McConnell out of Congress.

                              Why You Don’t Want to Enroll Now

In coming months, the Federal Exchanges will catch up with Kentucky, They have plenty of time. The open enrollment period lasts for six months –until the end of March, 2014.

Americans who plan to purchase their own insurance in the state marketplaces should focus on the fact that there is NO RUSH to enroll.

If you want new insurance by January 1, you don’t need to enroll until  December 15. Of course you probably don’t want to wait until the last minute. You need time to look at the plans, and ask questions.

But keep in mind that you have to pay your first premium 30 days after you enroll. If you sign up on October 15, that premium is due November 15—even though your insurance will not begin until January 1.)

My suggestion: if you don’t want to be part of the current madness, wait a few weeks.  Let the people running  the Exchanges get some of the kinks out of the system.

 

 

 

 

 

32 thoughts on “Take Your Time—They Are Not Going to Run Out of Policies!

  1. So who is paying for him? Answer is ME and other Middle Class Americans with employer plans. There is no magic here. No most families will NOT save $2500 as promised. Most will PAY MORE.

    • Dennis–

      No you are not paying for Obamacare.

      The only tax-payers who are contributing are those who earn over $200,000–and they are not middle-class.

      Meanwhile, thanks to Obamacare, the cost of employer-based insurance is no longer spiraling. (Insurers are pushing back against hospitals and doctors who over-charge and so premium inflation is moderating.

      Finally, the rest of us are paying For you–and every other person who has employer-sponsored insurance. The average employer pays 70 percent of employees’ benefits–and you don’t pay income taxes on that large fringe benefit– though your employer gets to deduct it on his corporate income tax. Many people think that employees should pay a tax on their health benefits.

      You should just be very, very grateful that you have employer-based insurance. .

  2. Savings like that has to be subsidized by someone. My guess it is the taxpayer. I’m happy for this man, but there is far too much load on the taxpayer as is. When does the taxpayer get a break? I am certain this man who saves $13,000 pays taxes also. So how much in taxes and government intrusion into his private life is that costing? There is far more to Obama Care than meets the eye.
    If you trade freedom for security you deserve neither.

    • Bob–

      The problem is if we pour the people who should be in Medicaid into the Exchanges, a larger percentage of people in the Exchanges will
      need subsidies. Medicaid has separate funding, and separate rules in terms of reimbursements. (It doesn’t reimburse hospitals and specialists as highly as private insurers do.
      Over the past 13 years private insurers have been overpaying most specialists and many hospitals and then just passing that cost on to employers and others who buy their insurance. This is why the price of insurance has spiraled.
      Now, that may change as insurers begin to push back against exorbitant prices.
      In some cases Medicaid pays too little; in other cases it does not. (In other words, we need to adjust Medicaid’s prices, but that’s a separate issue.)

      Finally, and most importantly, I remain convinced that over the next year or two virtually every state will expand Medicaid. The amount of money that the Federal government will give a state that expands Medicaid is an offer that is just too good to refuse. Hospitals in every state want that money. Insurers who run Medicaid HMOs want it. Drug makers want it.
      The pressure to expand Medicaid will be intense. And as I have written, “In America, MONEY TALKS”– even in Red States. Politicians who oppose expanding Medicaid will be voted out of office.

    • Don-

      You are mistaken.

      Only taxpayers earnings over $200,000 ($250,000 for couples) are paying taxes that will help fund the subsidies.

      In addition, the insurers, device makers and drug-makers who will get millions of new paying customers (subsidies in hand) have agreed to contribute large amounts of money to fund the
      subsidies.

      This is all spelled out in the Affordable Care Act.

      Will drug-makers etc. raise their prices and pass the cost of this funding along to you and I?

      No, because under Obamacare insurance companies will have much lower profit margins (see Morningstar the financial advisor on this)
      and thus will be pushing back against drug-makers, hospitals that over charge.

      Finally, Obamacare does not intrude on anyone’s privacy–unless you think that having access to care is an intrusion.

  3. Thanks for a great opening day article.

    I wonder how long the Mr Mathews of this article will remain a Republican……which is what the government shutdown is all about, of course.

    This article makes me wonder if the Exchanges can be a solution for the 8-10 million poor persons who will still not get Medicaid in the stingy states.

    A childless adult making from 100% to 133% of poverty will not get Medicaid in these states. My understanding is that only some states (including Arkansas) have made these persons eligible for subsidies on the exchanges.

    Is that the case? and if so, why can’t a federal exchange include them anyways?

  4. “Shouldn’t the Exchanges have been prepared for the crowds? No, the polls had told them that most people knew little about Obamacare, and had no idea that they could enroll on Oct. 1.”

    Aside from that, many websites run into similar trouble when big product releases roll out: for example, Apple’s website for the iPhone 5. And there are plenty more examples. The information pipes on the internet are not infinitely wide. This problem has happened before and will happen again when The Next Big Thing comes out.

    It’s all much ado about nothing. But, as you said, my first thought was the crashes were proof people were getting to understand the law and wanted the exchanges.

    • Panacea-

      Thanks. I am hoping that all of the interest means that people will sign up en masse.

      But the newspapers say that many people were just window-shopping. They are people who have insurance at
      work and are just curious to see what sort of deal others will be getting.

      Even if that’s true– by looking at their state marketplace, they’re learning something about prices, subsidies and
      just how affordable insurance will be for millions.
      .
      That’s more than they have learned from the mainstream media . .

      Presumably they will tell their 20-something children and relatives, as well as anyone they know who is uninsured.

      • I told one of my students the week before the rollout. She had no idea what Obamacare was about. She has ADHD, and it is impairing her academic performance; she needs Ritalin, but can’t afford to go to the doctor to get a prescription.

        She has a job, but also has three kids and she couldn’t afford her portion of the premium; it was half her paycheck. She’s been trying to stick it out until she graduates and can get a nursing job making much more (probably twice as much) than she makes now as a CNA.

        But if her grades don’t improve (and intelligence and effort aren’t the problem, it’s focus) she might have to repeat her final course, which puts her graduation date back six months. Health insurance is her ticket to a doctor’s appointment, and a discount on the cost of medication that will help her be successful.

        • Panacea–

          Thanks for a story that illustrates how the ACA will change people’s lives.
          Just tell her to make sure that the plan she picks offers Ritalin with a relatively low co-pay.
          This sort of things will vary greatly from plan to plan.
          Before signing up for a particular plan, people should call the insurance and make sure it covers meds that are most important to them.

  5. In the tech world, what happened to the healthcare.gov site is sometimes referred to as “the Slashdot effect.” Whenever some web site would be referenced in an article on Slashdot, the subsequent wave of click-throughs by Slashdot readers would bury the site, making it unresponsive and even crashing servers when they ran out of threads on which to open connections.

    It’s only a big deal to non-technical people who don’t understand how these things work. As a side note, the gov’t typically is not working with state-of-the-art equipment, either.

    It’s gratifying that an old-school conservative like Matthews would see the value in the new program and just admit it. Of course, that is one of the characteristics of an old-school conservative: grounding in reality. Not enough of those in Washington, DC.

  6. Maggie, you are correct that if people who are kept off Medicaid are allowed onto the Exchanges, they will undoubtedly need subsidies.

    Is that a bad thing though? It will cost more money to the Federal government — but the expansion of Medicaid to all states would have cost the federal government also.

    Without Medicaid or the Exchanges, the persons with low but not super-low incomes in the stingy states will remain uninsured — and that has costs also, although the costs do not necessarily show up on the federal budget.

    Not all of the Medicaid population would sign up for the Exchanges even if they were eligible. Many do not have bank accounts or regular incomes if they choose a plan that requires some payment from them.

    The group between 100% of poverty and 250% is a tough group to serve. I do not have the answers. But I still would have favored adding them to the Exchanges, if it could have gotten through Congress in 2012.

  7. Michael Powe–

    Thanks for the comment.

    You’re entirely right–old school conservatives are grounded in reality, and so capable of changing their minds. By contrast Tea-Party types and Evangelicals are blinded
    by their hatred of Obama and just not open to rational argument or clear evidence that they might be wrong.

    I had never heard of the “Slash dot” effect, but it makes
    sense. And, as you say it’s really not a big deal. People just need to wait until things settle down.

  8. Bob–

    The problem is two-fold.

    First, giving people subsidies to buy private insurance would cost far more than putting them on Medicaid because
    private insurers pay (and often over-pay) hospitals and specialists. .
    The best Medicaid HMO’s (Kaiser’s, for instance) are
    far more efficient than most private insurers.

    Secondly, we need to force states to change those laws that bar childless adults from Medicaid (no matter how poor they are) or say that they are eligible only if they earn less than 75% of FPL.

    These states will come around: because of the amount of money involved, political pressure will be intense. IF we put those people in the Exchanges, the pressure would disappear, and the most mean-spirited conservatives would have won the battle. We don’t want that to happen. We want them voted out of office. They’re doing damage in a great many ways. .

    Finally, because so many low-income and middle-income
    people who are currently uninsured or under-insured will be getting insurance in the Exchanges, public hospitals and charitable organizations will be better able to help those who remain uninsured. There will be many fewer uninsured.

  9. You talk about only tax payers making above $250k having to subsidize the currently uninsured (or those getting subsidies for whatever reason), but aren’t I indirectly subsidizing these same people when my individual policy goes from $400/mo to $900/mo? Help me understand this disparity. I’m a NC resident and at first blush it looks like I don’t have many options – maybe take the penalty?

    • Jim–

      Jim–
      What you pay an insurer does not go to fund the subsidies. They are funded separately.

      From what you said in your last comment, you buy your own insurance, and would not qualify for a subsidy in the Exchange.
      You indicate that you now pay $400 a month for insurance and that next year it will cost $900 a month.
      But have you looked at actual rates in the NC Exchange??
      Also, have you looked at what you would be getting for $900 a month (assuming that is the rate in the Exchange)
      If you are now paying $400 a month, this means that you must have a high-deductible plan.
      For $900 a month in the Exchange you will be getting a plan that caps your total out-of-pocket spending (deductible and co-pays)
      You also will be getting free preventive care.
      Finally, even if you are in a terrible accident, wind up in the hospital and undergo three surgeries, your insurer cannot put a cap on how much he
      will pay for your treatment over the course of a year or a lifetime.
      That is probably not true of your $400 plan.
      As a Blue Cross/Blue Shield Spokesman in N. C. points out: : The premium for a “middle of the road” plan for a 25-year-old healthy male will increase from $124 per month to $240. But the premium for a 25-year-old female will drop from $378 to $240 per month.
      Some people may face huge increases… because they’re having to buy lower deductibles,” Blount said. But they will benefit from having better coverage and lower out-of-pocket costs, he said.
      Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/10/06/4365331/insurance-premium-increases-shock.html#.UlQ314akpYw#storylink=cpy

      This article points out that while some people in N.C. will pay more for insurance, some will pay less.
      Finally, no you should’t pay the penalty. If you do, and suddenly become sick or are in an accident, you won’t be able to
      sign up for insurance until another open enrollment period rolls around. This means that you may not get the care you need–and could
      wind up losing your savings, your car, your home. The risk is too big.

  10. Your last two paragraphs are well written but they do reflect some sad realities……

    – There is money and political pressure being applied to the conservative states to get them to expand Medicaid. The success rate is very spotty so far. It feels to me like we are still fighting the Civil War — where the rest of country keeps pushing and prodding the South and Southwest to treat all citizens with respect. It seems never ending.

    – It is true that the expansion of health insurance will relieve some of the pressure on safety net hospitals. Yet we do this in such a roundabout and expensive way. Instead of just giving these valuable hospitals $20 billion, we spend far more than that to the raise the number of insureds. Public hospitals should be funded from taxes, like fire and police stations.

    Thanks for your insights.

    • Bob–

      Bob–

      Yes, I am afraid that many of the problems in the Southern states (people unwilling to help provide health care for the poor, hatred of Obama)
      can be traced back to racism. This is not to say that racism does not exist in the North. It is alive and well, even in NYC where police regularly hassle and
      physically assault young Latinos and African Americans. My daughter is married to a Latino and they were physically threatened. Their crime? His car is standing in a “no standing”
      zone for approximately 3 minutes while he picked up my daughter and her girlfriends from a restaurant where they were attending a bridal shower. The police dragged him out of the car.
      My daughter began to protest and he yelled at her “Emily Shut UP!” He never yells at her, but he knew what would happen next. She would be dragged out of the car.

      But I digress. You’re right Blue States and Red States are still fighting the civil war.

      On the idea of just giving public hospitals $20 billion . . . much of that money would be wasted. Depending on who is running the hospital, he might decide that what the hospital really needs is a private parking lot for physicians, or a renovation of the lobby– rather than spending the money on patient care. When we funnel the money through Medicaid,
      the hospital has to show that it was used to provide patient care.

      Some public safety net hospitals are great. Others are not.

  11. Thanks Maggie.

    The comments of Jim (above) on his premiums going up is appearing in some form in numerous blogs. I ran across an artticulate complaint in a libertarian blog hosted by David Henderson, and other places too.

    What the writers are complaining about is this:

    They have had individual health policies. They are all over 50 as far as I can tell.

    This year their insurer is raising their premiums.

    These folks are angry and are blaming Obamacare.

    I have tried to point out the following:

    The few insurers in the individual market raise premiums whenever they feel like it. Sometimes they are losing money, sometimes not.

    When they raise premiums, some insureds buckle under and the companies can make a little profit. Some insureds quit on them, which is fine because that means no more claims.

    Health insurance carriers in the individual market WANT to drive away customers after about year 5. This is called the aging cycle in health insurance. George Halvorson wrote about this 18 years ago.

    As you say, the exchanges may be better for them.

    It just bothers me when ObamaCare is blamed for old fashioned insurer greed.

  12. Bob–

    I wasn’t aware that insurers in the individual market try to drive away older customers, but that makes a great deal of sense.
    And it is frustrating that libertarians and conservatives have managed to persuade people that somehow this is Obamacare’s fault. It’s been going on for 18 years!
    Halverson is a good man– very intelligent and articulate.

    When I wrote my book he was running Kaiser Permanente and they had begun offering high deductible insurance. I asked him if he thought this was a good idea, and he said “From society’s point of view–no. But we had to do it in order to compete with our for-profit rivals in California.”

    For profit insurers were selling High Deductible Plans to two groups:

    1) relatively affluent folks (probably like Jim) who knew they had enough savings to handle a $10,000 deductible pretty easily, were in good health and didn’t expect to need to pay the deductible, and probably set up an HSA– a great tax shelter for the wealthy. (You don’t use the money in the HSA for health care– when you have out of pocket expenses you use other savings. Meanwhile, the money in the HSA sits there and compounds, year after year. In the end, you leave it your heirs. This is how the wealthy consolidate their wealth, handing down through the generations, and avoiding taxes whenever possible.
    The other group who insurers have been selling high-deductible plans to are low-income and lower-middle-income people who buy them because the premiums are so low. But they can’t afford to use the insurance because they can’t afford the co-insurance and deductible. Now, they’ll be able to go into an Exchange, and get good insurance with a subsidy.
    Meanwhile, as the more affluent who people who have high-deductible plans really should drop them, go to the Exchange and pay full price for a really good plan.
    As they get older they are taking a terrible risk. Even if the deductible is only $10,000, typically the plans cap what the insurers will pay out in a year, or over a lifetime. If the customer is diagnosed with cancer– and is treated for 5 or 6 years–or is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and lives 10 or 12 years, he will wiped out by the costs. These plans also usually contain quite a bit of fine print that is not customer-friendly.

    Finally, if people like Jim go into the Exchanges, they help everyone else in the Exchange–people who are poorer and not as healthy, women who need maternity, people who need the mental health coverage, kids
    with serious physical problems. It’s all about realizing “There but for fortune . . “

  13. I had an interesting exchange on Insure Blog with one of the affluent buyers that you refer to .

    He kept saying that he should be able to buy a policy with no maternity benefits and no mental health benefits since he would not use them.

    After taking in some counter arguments from me, he finally said that I probably believed that health insurance should be in some respects a tax. On the contrary he believed that everyone should just cover the risks that they thought were most important to them.

    In one sense he kind of exposed me. I have always looked longingly at the nations who set insurance premiums based on income.

    The libertarians all say they believe in ‘ individual choice.’
    Of course there are big problems with that.

    As you say, some people make the wrong choice about insurance and have hideous results.

    Also you have the major quiet (but huge) phenomenon of American health insurance for the last 50 years. Namely the effort of healthy persons to escape paying for sicker persons.

    Only Medicare and a very few states like New York have resisted this trend. The ACA resists it too, at least so far.

    • Bob–

      Someone that selfish really does need mental health benefits. I can only imagine what his relationships are lilke . . he could use counseling.

      You say that you look longingly at countries that set premiums based on income.

      That is exactly what we have done. The subsidies exist on a sliding scale up to 400% of poverty.

      After that you don’t get a subsidy.

      In Europe the average upper-middle-class family (top 40%– just like the people who don’t qualify for subsidies here)
      pays taxes equal to about 10% of household income–just for health insurance. With those taxes they are subsidizing the other 40%. This is basically very fair. In this country, a family of 4 with adjusted gross income of roughly $94,000 gets a subsidy.
      In most parts of the U.S. a family with $94,000 can live very comfortably. I would acknowledge that in Manhattan,
      San Francisco and a few other cities, the cost of real estate is so high that $94,000 is middle-class, not upper-middle-class.
      (Though I raised two children on less than that in Manhattan). But one could always live in Queens, Long Island City, etc, Mornningsidee Heights, and still work in Manhattan. Perhaps we should lift the cut-off point for a family of 4 to, say $108,000
      in certain zip codes. But I’m not convinced that the rest of the U.S. has a responsibility to subsidize my desire to live in Manhattan. I don’t have to live here. That’s my decision. And I figured out ways to cut my spending to make it possible. (Here is a small example, I don’t buy jewelry. Like many women, I like clothes and shoes, but jewelry was never a priority.

      In Eurrope the people paying taxes equal to 10% of income for heatlhcare are contributing to universal insurance for everyone. That includes maternity, mental health etc. They are paying for what other people need. Also, in Europe young people pay for older people. Under your reform insurers can still charge a 60 year old
      3 times as much as they would charge a 20 year old for exactly the same policy.

      In this country we just don’t like or respect old people. Young people resent paying for them. (The ACA would never have passed Congress unless we let insurers charge older people 3 times as much–younger voters would have objected. It wasn’t about insurers making more money, it was about making premiums lower for young people. New York and Vermont are the only two
      states that don’t let insurers charge older people more. Vermont has many older citizens, and New York passed this law when we
      had a liberal governor and state legislature.)

      In Europe, young people are generally quite polite to older people–they get up to give them a seat on the subway, etc.

      And it would never occur to them that they shouldn’t be paying for social programs for older citizens.

  14. I am a proponent of the ACA, however I am not happy with my options on the exchange in South Carolina. The only offerings are EPO’s with very limited networks. I live a mile from NC, (Charlotte) and none of my doctors or hospitals are on this narrow network, Blue Essentials. There is NO competition here! The only other player is Coventry and they will only be offering narrow EPO’s-pay doctors less with very few doctors on the panel. All that for just under $1600 a month for me and my wife.

    • Jim-

      The problem is not the ACA. The problem is South Carolina.
      Both your governor and many of the state’s citizens have been dead-set against the ACA from day 1.

      SC refused to set up an Exchange. Washington had to do it for them.
      Local groups and local politicians might have been in a better position to encourage more insurers to
      join the Exchange– and to encourage more doctors to join the networks.

      Some groups have tried, but there just are not enough Obamacare supporters in SC to create strong support.

      Also, the doctors in SC, like other citizens of the state, tend to be more conservative than doctors elsewhere.
      This means they tend to think of health as a matter of “individual responsiblity” They don’t feel a responsibility to negotiate somewhat lower fees with insurers so that middle-income people can afford their care.

      Finally, the ACA cannot force insuers or providers to join the Exchanges and compete.

      But you probably will have “private” (non-government) Exchanges in SC run by for-profit companies.
      In those Exchange no one will get government subsidies, but networks may be larger (if insurers agree to pay providers more.) Though this will hike premiums–probably well above what you will have to pay in the public Exchange.

      And insurers in the private Exchanges will not be held to all of the rules that apply in the government Exchanges.

      My advice: if you or your wife become seriously ill (here I’m think of a chronic disease), you might consider moving to North Carolina where you probably could get a policy in the Exchange that does include your North Carolina doctors in its network. I don’t see South Carolina turning into a liberal, pro-Obama state anytime soon. So that may be your only option.

  15. Maggie:

    Been reading all the comments and it is a pity there is not more fact than fiction.

    First. Tea Party members come from all walks of life and do not “Hate” Obama because he is half white. They object to his policies of tax and spend.

    Second: The Federal Government has incurred now incurred debt and unfunded liabilities in the range of $100,000,000,000,000.00. One hundred trillion dollars or about $300,000.00 for every man woman and child in this country. Additional government programs and welfare (subsidy) handouts are going to exacerbate not ameliorate the problem. What is going to happen to your and my grandchildren when it has to be paid?

    One more point that people are going to hate so expect the equivalent of a Form W5 to come back in vogue as a discussion item early next year. The subsidies on the premium are tax refunds on the following year’s taxes so everybody has to pay in full up front for 14 or 15 months. If they do that, by golly, I guess they really can afford it.

    Charles

    • Charles–

      On Obama’s watch, we have cut the deficit in half.

      By contrast, under George W. Bush, we spent all of the surplus that
      Bush inherited from Clinton.

      Who is the “big spender” here?

      As for taxes, Obama has raised taxes only on individuals who earn more than $200,000
      ($250,000 for couples.)

      They are in the top 2% and can afford tax increases. (Their tax rates also are at
      historically low levels.)

      Our middle-class is vanishing because their share of federal income taxes has risen while
      their after-tax incomes have fallen over the past 20-plus years.

  16. Charles–

    On Obama’s watch we have cut the deficit in half.
    During Bush’s presidency, government spent the surplus that he inherited from Bush. Just who is the big spender?
    Obama has raised taxes only on Americans earning more than $200,000 ($250,000) for couples.–the top 2%
    . Meanwhile, our middle class is disappearing. We desperately need to redistribute wealth– and in the years ahead, I believe this will happen.
    The demographics of this country are changing and more and more African-Americans and Latinos are voting.
    They, along with many women of all races favor spending more on social programs– and tend to side with liberals on the question of raising taxes for the wealthy.
    Women are rising to positions of power. There are now 20 in the Senate– an all-time high. And today they showed their ability to get things done. Women, led by Senator Collins, brought the shut-down to an end.
    Finally, in Focus Groups where like-minded conservatives are alone, they freely express their fear that minorities are taking over the country. As this Forbes column explains,
    “racism” is “inextricably linked” to the opposition to Obamacare.

  17. If people would put aside their personal views of the President, they would clearly see that there are several advantages of utilizing insurance plans under Obamacare. Under Obamacare, there is a significant improvement to accessing women’s health services, young adults have the ability to stay on their parent’s plans until the age of 26, you can’t be charged more based on gender or health status, no annual or lifetime limits on healthcare and most importantly, insurance companies can’t DROP you when you are sick or for making a mistake on your application.

    Some people get hung up on the fact that they feel as if they are middle-class citizens that will be penalized by paying for this plan through taxes. In reality, the only section of the population that will pay higher taxes for the plan are those that makes more than $200,000 per year. As reported by the IRS, this is only 2% of the population.

    I understand that there has been a “Slashdot” effect that caused technical issues on the healthcare.gov site. But can you really negate the overall benefit of the insurance plans for such a reason? Obamacare benefits the college student that can’t afford insurance and needs to stay on their parent’s insurance plan, the person with a diagnosis of cancer that has been dropped from insurance companies because of their health status, the single mother that can barely afford to take care of her children and provide health insurance. Obamacare may not be perfect but it does help the 15.7% of the population that is uninsured.

    • Arika–

      Welcome to HealthBeat! (I don’t recognize your name so am assuming your are a new reader>

      Everything you say is very,very true. So many people will benefit in so many ways.

      The technical glitches are creating problems right now–but it was inevitable that the Process of
      rolling out something this big would very difficult. That doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with the Product–reform.

      I compare the process to applying for a mortgage. These days, it can take forever and be extremely frustrating. After months, you’re
      told the bank wants just two more pieces of information. You jump through hoops.

      But none of this affects how you feel about your home when you finally move in. However difficult the process, the end result is worth i.

  18. Pingback: Is Obamacare uninsuring people? – Yahoo! Answers | ObamaCare Colorado