14 thoughts on “Obamacare Enrollment 2015: How Many People Will Sign Up Next Year? (Public Support for Obamacare Is About to Turn a Corner) Part 1

  1. The real test is whether people’s health improves or not. Having “insurance” is no good if people are unable to use it due to narrow networks, procedures/medications “not covered”, inability to pay increasing premiums and co-pays, etc. There is a lot of cheerleading going on but it is way too early to determine the success of this very complicated program. So far it hasn’t done much to bring down the actual costs of healthcare, which is the real problem facing the health care system.

    • asksurfer —

      All medically necessary procedures and meds are covered, and in June, Kaiser’s poll showed that people who have insurance that complies with
      Obamacare’s rules are especially happy with their choice of providers.

      Clearly, you’ve been absorbing the misinformation that Fox, Forbes and others are circulating.

      I have an Exchange policy with a closed network of providers–and everyone I now see is in that network. Every hospital I might want to visit is in that
      network. The hospitals and providers who are not included are those that overcharge and, at the same time, get poor marks for quality of care.
      (Overcharging and poor quality often go hand in hand.)

      As for cost–I just received a letter saying that in 2015, my premiums will go down by 10%. And my policy has no deductible and very low co-pays.

      My situation is far from unique. In virtually every state one or more insurers are cutting premiums for 2015. Competition is increasing as more
      insurers participate in Obamacare.

      Finally, nationwide, the growth in total spending on healthcare has slowed significantly, and this includes spending on Medicare.
      Hospitals, in particular, are making a greater effort to avoid preventable errors and to become more efficient. They know that under Obamacare
      we will be pay for quality (better outcomes at a lower price) not quantity (feee-for-service–the more you do to a patient, the more you are paid.)

      The Accountable Care Organizations are already up and running.

      • I do think complaints some necessary procedures might not be covered should be taken seriously. Insurers are still able to make independent decisions on what to cover, and still find ways to deny care.

  2. In 2015, the Refuseniks will have to pay a fine that rises from 1 percent of yearly household income or $95 per person (whichever is greater) to 2 percent of household income or $325 per person.

    Gladly paid, rather than participating in farce.

    • Ben—

      Everyone has a right to making their own decision.

      But I do hope you understand that if you don’t have insurance, you are not going to receive care unless you
      can pay for it out of pocket. IF you arrive at a hospital’s ER, the hospital is required only to “stabilize” you–which is defined as patching you up so that
      you can “walk out the door.” But no surgery, no chemo if you have cancer, et.

  3. Great stuff, Maggie. Refreshing to find a Progressive Blogger who sort of burrows into things, and is able to take the perspective of the consuming public, and see, as if from the inside-out, what is trying to emerge. Would love you to look at my blog on The Budget Game Has Changed (URL above). Have been studying all this for 6 years, and think we are at a key point of transformation. Send me a note at my email above, or on Twitter @jstuart902.

    • Jim–

      Thanks very much. I did look at your blog (jimstuartnewblog.blogspot.com) and would urge others to look at “The Budget Game has changed.”
      Yes, spending on Medicare has slowed significantly, largely because hospitals are making a concerted effort to become more efficient. They know that
      in the very near future they will be paid more if they produce better outcomes at a lower price. And they will be penalized if that don’t rein in preventable
      errors. Some doctors also are becoming more cost-conscious; rather than simply ordering a battery of tests, they’re asking questions, listening to the patient, and then ordering
      the test or tests that seem appropriate. In the future, doctors who create medical homes will be rewarded if they manage to keep chronically ill patients out of the
      hospital. Finally, some patients are becoming more aware of the dangers of over treatment.

      This is also happening in the private market, but it’s harder to draw clear evidence from the private market because there is so much “noise”–
      clouding the picture. But the Health Affairs article which claims that spending is slowing only in depressed economies is simplistic.

      As I’ve always said, reform will be a process, not an event. But over time I’m convinced that health care spending will level off. Ideally
      health care spending, as a percentage of GDP, will stabilize about where it was in 2006–or earlier. (Of course, that assumes we see some
      GDP growth).

  4. > More young adults will find out that they can sign up for a parent’s employer-based insurance and stay on it until they turn 27.

    What? Dependents lose coverage on their 26th birthday, not the 27th.

  5. Pingback: Health Wonk Review: September 11, 2014 | Health Business Blog

  6. Pingback: Health Wonk Review for September 11, 2014

  7. Maggie:

    I’ve been looking for new posts from you. I hope you’re doing OK. I have a specific question and I thought you would be the best person to answer this due to your extensive knowledge of the ACA. Now that the exchanges have been around for more than a year, would you say that more Americans (overall, not just those in the non-group market) are able to keep their doctors than before, or fewer? What will be the case going forward?

  8. My main buff about this is that it’s tied directly to your taxes and that there are no natural alternatives for people who don’t believe in the sick doctor system that the United States seems to embrace so well. I choose to eat right and live well. Those are qualities that don’t seem to be addressed in this “get sick and stay sick” society.

    • Lisa–

      Actually Obamcaare is all about encouraging people to stay well. This is why preventive care is free.

      IN addition, however well you eat and live, you will, one day, die. You could be killed in an accident, but more likely, you will become
      very sick. AT that point, you will need healthcare. (Unless you want to die in great pain.)

      However well you eat and live, you are vulnerable to diseases that you cannot control by “living right”: examples–many kinds of cancer as well as Alzheimer’s, MS., etc.

      This is why everyone needs to sign up for healthcare–or pay a penalty. (The penalties will help cover the cost of their care when they
      do get sick. Chances are, as you grow older, you will be very sick more than once. Healthcare may save your life 2 or 3 times, before your final illness.

      Finally, if you make it into your 70’s, chances are very high that you will be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s (For female baby-boomers in their
      70s, we are told the odds are 1 in 3.)

      At that point you will need much healthcare–probably for 6 or 7 years (that’s how long many Alzheimer’s patients live.)

      This is why you, like everyone else, needs universal healthcare–