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President Obama Got The Subject Changed

Posted Jan 12 2014 9:18pm

Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP, MACE

I do not know if anyone has noticed that Obamacare has not been discussed in the mainstream media since January 1st.

Obamacare affects consumers negatively. The anger and resistance will not go away by changing the subject.

Obamacare's problems remain.

Many physicians are running for the exits.

Many insurance companies are trying to figure out their next step. Many hospital systems have not been successful in developing of their accountable care organizations.

Hospital systems have not developed functionally adequate electronic medical records.

Hospital systems have not adjusted to the ICM-10 coding system.

There are still delays in signing up for healthcare insurance on the health exchanges.

People do not know if their applications have been accepted and they actually have insurance.   

The minimal numbers of applicants and consumers who actually received insurance is not clear.

The level of mistrust by consumers for the Obama administration continues to escalate.

It is interesting to note the scarcity of articles published about the healthcare system since January 1st.

The mainstream media is not reflecting the chaos created by Obamacare on the healthcare system.

No matter what the Obama administration does to distract people from healthcare it will remain a main issue. Obamacare is not an abstraction any more. It is an unpleasant reality that is affecting consumers directly. It is having a widespread negative effect on healthcare and medical care delivery. Obamacare is also having a negative affect on economic growth and stability.

Headlines about Obamacare are few and far between. Below are some of the few topics published.

The cheapest insurance plan they can find through the new federal marketplace in New Hampshire will cost their family of four about $1,000 a month, 12 percent of their annual income of around $100,000 and more than they have ever paid before.

Even more striking, for the Chapman’s, is this fact: If they made just a few thousand dollars less a year — below $94,200 — their costs would be cut in half, because a family like theirs could qualify for federal subsidies.

The Chapman’s are caught in the uncomfortable middle: not poor enough for help, but not rich enough to be indifferent to cost.

Most healthcare experts consider health insurance unaffordable if premiums exceed 10 percent of annual income. Lower income families not qualified for Medicaid (>$21,000 per year) have to pay 10% of their income for subsidized healthcare insurance. This amount could be unaffordable to them.

Obamacare is only affordable for the very poor.

CGI Group is being denied payment by Massachusetts and Vermont as a result of dysfunctional state exchange websites that have yet to be fixed.

Massachusetts (Romneycare) is supposed to be doing great according to the traditional media.  Why is Massachusetts switching to Obamacare?

The state is probably getting a bigger subsidy from the federal government by being under federal control. Federal control doesn’t seem to trouble the government officials in Massachusetts.

I was under the impression the Massachusetts web site was working splendidly. The CGI contract for Massachusetts and Vermont cost $69 million dollars.

In an attempt to make as much money as possible the outsourced administrative services providers are holding onto money as long as possible.

The report appeared only on a local TV station in Houston, Texas. I suspect it is happening all over the country.

“The contractor building the financial management system for Healthcare.gov is being blamed by a Houston hospital for delayed Medicare reimbursements that have caused the hospital to miss payrolls for weeks."

" Novitas Solutions is the federal government's new Medicare payment processor for the south-central region of the country hired by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), a division of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS.)  ABC-KTRK in Houston reports:"

"According to the CEO Jason Leday, more than 150 employees haven't been paid in nearly a month."

"I understand that they have children and a house payment, bills. Not getting paid is wow," nearby resident Theresa Gutierrez said.” 

 The public can only know about these occurrences, if the mainstream media reports it.

A local Minneapolis TV station had this story.

"As the New Year began at midnight, so did benefits for thousands of Minnesotans who signed up for MNsure.

It left some people unsure if they completed the process in time. MNsure has had several problems with it’s website from the start this fall.

Late last week, 50,000 people had completed applications to buy private health plans but hadn’t completed enrollment because of website problems or if they just didn’t continue on in the process. Close to 20,000 people had completed enrollment as of Dec. 27, 2013."

This is not a very good showing for Minnesotans. We were told the state exchanges were doing great.

The Obama administration has not verified any actual enrollment in insurance coverage to date. We have been told that things are looking good.

Lousy results are portrayed as good results.

More than 4.7 million Americans had their health insurance canceled as a result of any of the thousand-plus-page law’s new rules,  The Associated Press reports , but the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) confirmed Tuesday that between federal and state exchanges, just two million Americans have signed up for Obamacare coverage.  

The Mail Online published this story for the American public. It did not appear in the American traditional main media.

 MailOnline spoke with patients who were told they would have to pay their bills in full if they couldn't prove they had insurance

  • One was faced with a $3,000 hospital room charge and opted to leave the hospital after experiencing chest pains
  • 'Should I be in the hospital? Probably,' she said
  • Another, coughing in the cold, walked out without receiving a needed chest x-ray
  • Consumers face sticker-shock from medical costs under the new Obamacare system, made worse if they can't prove they're insured
  • As many as one-third of new enrollees' applications have seen problems when the government transmits them to insurance companies

The group market, the union insurance market, Medicare, the low paid wagers market (MacDonald’s and other fast food chain market) all received waivers from Obamacare for one year. Only the individual healthcare market was not exempt from Obamacare.

The recent Obamacare headlines have not been popularized. Most Americans can conclude that nothing in healthcare has changed.

Americans should be made aware of the things going on in healthcare under Obamacare. They will be shortly. Obamacare is going to affect all Americans directly.

Obamacare is only affecting 5% of the population today. However the public needs to be made aware of what is going to happen to everyone because his or her waivers will expire shortly.

The Obama administration has not been transparent about anything including costs and cost overruns.

The lack of transparency has made everyone suspicious and mistrustful of President Obama and his administration.

It is going to be a rocky year for both healthcare and medical care.

Obamacare is facing headwinds that the Obama administration will not be able to hide from the public.

The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone.

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