Monday, April 21, 2014

Some are confused

EDITOR: The interviewees in the Mountain Democrat article, “Affordable Care Act Continues to Produce Confusion and Anger,” indeed display considerable confusion, likely due to the misinformation and disinformation campaign waged against the ACA by Fox, Limbaugh, the MD and other right-wing sources.

Ellen Cirddle claims that her 62-year old son’s monthly income of $900 has to cover an insurance premium of $115 to AARP. Given his seemingly poverty-level means, Mr. Cirddle is eligible for Medi-Cal, so his insurance will cost him nothing. Mr. Cirddle may be the typical anti-Obamacare denizen, the vast majority of whom find it easier to blame “The guv’mint” instead of doing their homework.

Mr. Cirddle is like the lady in Florida who made a big splash on Fox, complaining of having to give up her $50 a month policy. When a reporter pointed out her policy had a lifetime limit of $2,000 per illness and a $500 deductible, Fox, unsurprisingly, did not air those inconvenient facts. How much meaningful coverage will $50, or $115 buy? In practical terms: none. But manyAARP-sponsored insurers target the elderly and the unsophisticated, specializing in ‘feel good’ policies that prove worthless in case of serious illness. Those are the policies, ‘scams’ really, targeted for elimination by Obamacare.

Also interviewed was a relative of Mr. Cirddle, Carlie Maxwell, whose family of seven could not afford private insurance, thereby qualifying for Medi-Cal. Yet, Ms. Maxwell complains that Medi-Cal imposes certain rules, as if private insurers don’t. Ms. Maxwell’s sister makes the same complaint. The extent of these ladies’ chutzpah boggles the mind.

Were the writer interested in facts (terra incognita at the MD), Placerville has lots of easy-to-locate people whose ACA experience is verifiably positive. Just today, I learned that the daughter of a friend, a single mother of 60 with a 7 year-old child, whose yearly income is $22,00, had been paying $450 a month premiums for herself and $82 for her child.

After a couple of admittedly frustrating weeks (now reduced to less than one hour) with the California Website, she was able to enroll in the Blue Cross Silver Plan. With a $420 Medi-Cal subsidy, this single mother now pays $60 for herself and zero dollars, for the child. Her yearly insurance costs went from $6,384 to $720. Saving over $5,600 a year is well worth a little frustration.

If you want to talk to folks with experiences similar to the lady’s above, contact John McCoy whose recent fact-filled letter in the MD, will enlighten you. His expertise on the ACA is probably unmatched in Placerville



Letters to the Editor


Discussion | 37 comments

  • EvelynDecember 26, 2013 - 8:03 am

    A Taxpayer Bailout for ObamaCare – Insurance Companies “Too Big to Fail” - HERE

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  • Dink LaneDecember 27, 2013 - 10:56 am

    Evelyn: I have a great deal of respect for you . .... Now you say it's a bailout for "Insurance Companies"...... I've been saying that the Radical side of the House has been fighting FOR the Insurance Companies..... and you and others disagreed...... Insurance Companies want their Cake and eat it too...... Guaranteed customers.... a perfect GOP idea..... Privatize........ BUT......They want NONE of the risk (High-Risk people -- Children with preexisting conditions).... They don't want to be HELD to the 80% (Patient care) to 20% (Profits)....... Yes, this is a BAILOUT for Private Companies.... That's because OBAMACARE was originally a Republican plan..... Until Obama agreed to it (He wanted single payer like Medicare at first....but COMPROMISED)........ And the GOP started convulsing.... and their heads started spinning.... and they spit out Pea-Soup.... and in their deep voice they said.... "If Obama likes it, We can't like it." #blameObama

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  • Dink LaneDecember 27, 2013 - 11:06 am

    Evelyn..... Read the Republican's Health Care Bill wrote back in June..... the "Repeal Obamacare" HR 3121...... It takes AWAY Yours and mine "Income Tax deductions" for our Insurance premiums... (That does not help PEOPLE)...... It changes ELIGIBLE people for insurance.... Puts BACK IN Preexisting conditions...... It also give ANOTHER tax deduction for Insurance Companies..... Now Evelyn -- Who are the ones who are giving Insurance Companies a BAILOUT?....... p.s. McClintock was ONE of the 1st to sign on to HR 3121..... yet he won't cut Oil subsidies... He voted for to keep them 14 times.... won't vote for a budget.... but his fiscally conservativetism is for OIL and INSURANCE companies -- not us....

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  • EvelynDecember 27, 2013 - 3:31 pm

    Dink: I'm certainly no expert on the intricacies of Obamacare. However, the first 3 sentences of the article I posted (above) read: "An American public already reeling from the catastrophic rollout of ObamaCare will more than likely be hearing an unfamiliar term being bandied about in the new year. “Risk corridor” refers to a provision in the law that allows the government to “stabilize” premium costs for insurance companies during the first three years of the healthcare rollout. If insurance companies’ “target” costs for providing healthcare has been miscalculated, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will intercede on their behalf." ********** i.e., another taxpayer funded bailout, just like the Too-Big-To-Fail banks.

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  • Dink LaneDecember 27, 2013 - 4:45 pm

    Evelyn: You and I have already had a discussion about my concerns about anything Breitbart. His credibility is deeply flawed. ........ I believe in Kaiser Family -- they are considered a leader in Health policy -- They have NEVER been found to make false reports such as the ACORN - Pimp and Shirley Sherrod stories...... But you have said you don't trust them..........So lets go to neutral corners .......... Question to you Evelyn: Do you REALLY think taking all regulations OFF of insurance companies is going to STOP "Too-big-to-fail"? ........ Banks didn't grow into being "Too-big-to-fail" until 1998.... When ALL Regulations between Wall Street and Neighborhood Banks was REMOVED...... and GAMBLING with mortgages began.....and.... this behavior went unchecked by Congress (Campaign financing)........ That's when Banks turned to the taxpayer..... Now with all the NEW HC customers.... and NO justification (Blocking the 80-20 rule)...for raising rates with a repeal..... HOW could that be good for the consumer? Yes, I could see HC getting too big to fail -- without any regulations such as ACA (Obamacare)....... Especially if Anthem-Blue Cross (fined 3 times in CA since 2009 already) is allowed to go unchecked...

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  • EvelynDecember 28, 2013 - 9:11 am

    Dink: What makes you believe I support "taking all regulations OFF of insurance companies"?

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  • EvelynDecember 28, 2013 - 9:22 am

    . . . further, I don't see Breitbart as being relevant to this conversation. The point about insurer bailouts is easily checked. Search: AFFORDABLE CARE ACT RISK CORRIDORS 3 YEARS. HERE is one such result. You will find many others.

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  • EvelynDecember 28, 2013 - 9:29 am

    How the Authors of Obamacare Protected Insurance Companies - HERE: Three provisions in the law offset the crisis they might face if too few healthy people and too many sick ones enroll.

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  • EvelynDecember 28, 2013 - 9:36 am

    Forbes: "ObamaCare Enriches Only The Health Insurance Giants and Their Shareholders" - HERE

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  • Dink LaneDecember 28, 2013 - 12:34 pm

    Evelyn: Why are you MORE worried about the Insurance Companies profits and the shareholders of insurance companies which comes with the PRO-Business--Privatized everything--party..... The GOP? ........ Why don't you care that a mother of two, who works for the Salvation Army as a clerk, doesn't have to use the emergency-room Health Care system any longer?..... Why don't you care that a young business owner who works on contract bids, can now buy Health Insurance for his whole family for less than $400 a month?...... Why do you worry more about Corporations and their profits than the people who work here in town?

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  • EvelynDecember 28, 2013 - 1:51 pm

    Dink: You are assuming I do not care about those things you mention.

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  • Dink LaneDecember 28, 2013 - 2:13 pm

    I didn't see any evidence that the people's interests had importance in your comments on the Affordable Health Care Act. I apologize if I'm wrong.

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  • EvelynDecember 28, 2013 - 2:30 pm

    Dink: Though wrong, no apology rqd. This whole discussion is a political minefield. I remain a liberal (don't tell anyone!) but totally reject insurance companies' crafting ACA. I supported Dennis Kucinich's original promise to vote "No" on the Bill and will always wonder what happened during his brief plane ride with Obama in May 2010 that caused him to do an about-face.

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  • EvelynDecember 28, 2013 - 2:37 pm

    I believe the statement found here is true: "[T]here is no such thing as representative government or free market capitalism anymore. Big corporate money has co-opted the government; and ill-guided politicians have destroyed the free market.'

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  • James E.December 27, 2013 - 10:59 am

    Dink, I agree with you but I don't think Evelyn disagreed.

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  • James E.December 27, 2013 - 11:07 am

    I think Evelyn was merely pointing out how much it is a health insurance corporation health plan, and how the poor dears will be bailed out to maintain their profits.

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  • Dink LaneDecember 27, 2013 - 11:12 am

    I agree... And I respect her opinion (I like her too) .... but in some of her other posts she said she was tax give away. (Not for the everyday working stiff.) ..... or at least that's how I remember it..... If I'm wrong, I apologize.... I would love to hear her opinion to correct me if she wants ...

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  • Phil VeerkampDecember 27, 2013 - 11:23 am

    John shares, " Just today, I learned that the daughter of a friend, a single mother of 60 with a 7 year-old child . . . " John, your friend must be amazing. He/she is still lucid in spite of having born a daughter who has in turn born 60 grandchildren, one of whom is 7. This story could be worth MILLIONS. Why are you talking about the ACA? Get an agent for your friend. Consider a "finder's fee".

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  • Elron HupboardDecember 27, 2013 - 1:59 pm

    LOL..Phil I too found that odd but just fingered it was a typo.

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  • R J CarterDecember 27, 2013 - 6:32 pm

    Yes, I'm am a little confused by one of the new Obama Care codes ( ICD-9 E978 )...When it goes into effect as of October 1, 2014 are be-headings of Americans then covered under Obama care or not??.....It says they are, but what plan, Gold plan??..Silver Plan???.....I guess Nancy Piglosi was right, "you'll have to pass it to see whats in it".....Just search ( Omama Care code ICD-9 E978 )

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  • EdwardsDecember 27, 2013 - 7:18 pm

    Do you have Health benefits from your job? No change...... Do you have your own business? Call and sign up for the plan you want... It appears that you haven't shopped for insurance. You just want to stir up sh@!

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  • Swine TastingDecember 29, 2013 - 1:41 am

    Aren't you the 280+ Lb. Pig? Hows the knees, heart, and diabetes? .Your one of the people who others subsidized no matter what ins your on. And hey, at least Nancy can wash herself

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  • cookie65December 29, 2013 - 7:36 am

    I never get enough of leftist tolerance.

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  • Tom GibneyDecember 27, 2013 - 8:52 pm can keep your doctor...riiight..It all looks so rose now doesn't it ...then all those new taxes next year and the next...I called my Doctor and my wife called hers they are not interested.. John and Dink you can spout this crap all you want and put as much lipstick on the pic...but it's still...a pig.

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  • Dink LaneDecember 28, 2013 - 12:14 pm

    My sister, two brothers and myself get to keep our Doctor. (The Self-employed brother--whose policy was canceled--gets to keep his doctor because they offered a NEW policy by law) My fellow workers all get to keep their doctors. Their spouses get to keep their doctor. ... I saw on the Covered CA website, LA applicants can shop by "Doctor." Nothing has changed -- for those who already have health Insurance through our jobs.

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  • Dink LaneDecember 28, 2013 - 12:16 pm

    Tom: $5 says ...... You already have Health Care Insurance.... and NOTHING has changed...

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  • Tom GibneyDecember 29, 2013 - 10:07 am

    I did...but missed a payment in October and now to get the plan I had will cost my wife and I $200 dollars a month more (almost $800..).So I took 3 days to sign up for Covered California. I kept getting cut off the phone, hung up on and the website froze 3 times I will do this until my new job insurance kicks in...I am not impressed at all at this time...Will let you know after the first. Since I am not a fan of Obama or his ACA, This is something I thought I would make a point with . I will keep you informed next month and let you know how the Gold plan is. However, Will the govt. store all the info I had to give after I go back to another plan...? I found colonoscopies to be less invasive.... I'll wait for the 5 bucks in the mail...

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  • cookie65December 29, 2013 - 12:31 pm

    Tom, I will cover dinks' five bucks if he can provide me documentation that shows more people have actually purchased obamacare in Hawaii than the number of people in obama's vacation entourage.

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  • PollockerDecember 28, 2013 - 2:41 pm

    Dink, it’s “My sister, two brothers and I…” You are uninformed about what will happen with those who have insurance through their jobs. With the exception of those who are in grandfathered plans (and there will be few because the restrictions of being grandfathered were onerous), ALL plans must comply with Obamacare. That means most employers will end up with brand new, Obamacare-sanctioned, and absolutely more costly plans. Think employers/shareholders will absorb that cost? Think again when you refer to it as the Affordable Care Act. Affordable for those millions more going on welfare, but not affordable for those of us who pay for private insurance or receive it as a benefit from our employer. Far more people have lost their private insurance than will gain through Obamacare, and those gaining aren't the taxpayers.

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  • Dink LaneDecember 28, 2013 - 3:49 pm

    That's interesting Pollocker.... Teamsters, AFL-CIO, CWA. CTA, ITTW .... even the ED County Employees...(all union shops) have sent letters to their members saying that their COVERAGE will not change per Open-Enrollment letters in Nov. for the coming year........ My family says their HC benefits went up around 4% compared to the 7.8% the year before and 9% the year before........... My Brother, a self-employed business man, got a letter from Kaiser... Changing his insurance and the rate increased from $175/mt to $210/mt (8% and lower deductible) ..... still a lot cheaper than my teacher premium payment as a teacher $790/mt.... I'm retired now, and the Cadillac plans have been cut back.... but my fellow teachers say they haven't lost their health care coverage........ So Pollocker....... If YOUR insurance kicked up high premiums ..... maybe it's time to go shopping on the exchange.... (Maybe it's time to join a union-shop and get decent benefits.) If it's so bad.... why are people signing up..... I believe what my EYES see...not what the spin-doctors TELL me...

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  • PollockerDecember 29, 2013 - 12:47 pm

    Dot dot dot from a retired teacher? Join a union because that might keep my benefits costs down? And be paid based on time-in-grade rather than my abilities? No thank you. Not in this life time. I have enough family members in state government and working as public school teachers to see how it works. I checked my private employer's plan against Obamacare, and the rates would, in fact, increase. And I expect that plan to be cancelled because it undoubtedly won't quite match up with ACA requirements (so, no, we won't "get to keep the plans we like"). Since I buy health insurance for my private employer and have specialized in human resources for 25 years for large and small companies, I'm probably a little more educated on the subject than the average person. (I am not just reading the Sac Bee or blogs. I have attended many seminars/classes on the subject and deal with this on a daily basis.) My 24 year old's private plan would more than double under Obamacare, so she's keeping her (thankfully) grandfathered plan. Who gained by the ACA? Those on the dole (Medicaid and subsidized insurance) and those who should've been able to buy high risk insurance but were refused. That is the one part of the ACA that made some sense, but do you see millions of people who were refused coverage buying it under the ACA? NOPE. Why? Because, with the exception of those on the dole, it is not affordable, particularly not for the young. It was MUCH less expensive to buy health insurance for the young-and-healthy before ACA. You know about age-banding, right?

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  • EdwardDecember 28, 2013 - 3:57 pm

    MORE people are MAD about 1.3 million people having to CHANGE their Health Care........ But dead SILENCE about 3 million people loosing their income to put food on their table and a roof over their heads.(Loss of Unemployment benefits) ....

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  • PollockerDecember 28, 2013 - 5:17 pm

    TENS of millions of people nationwide will have their policies cancelled due to Obamacare. 1.3 million was just California!

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  • Dink LaneDecember 28, 2013 - 12:25 pm

    One more point Tom: "Concierge" Doctors usually get $74 per visit and the 'Georgia' Based Website is reporting that 'California' doctors that make home visits will not join in the exchange........ IF Tom went on the exchange ...... he'd know that the 3 major Insurance Companies do not provide HOME-VISITS..... I'm sure there is more to this..... but that would take some individual cognitive work...

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  • get realDecember 28, 2013 - 8:00 am

    What part of the ACA is Mr Garon paying into? What part of affordable is the ACA and to who exactly. Who or what doctor takes Medi-Cal here in El Dorado County? There's only 5 and they are booked full already. Am I to believe that the democrats plan all along was to raise everyone's insurance premiums who already had insurance so that others could be listed as having medicare? I would like to here from one doctor in our County who will say that they can handle more patients for free.

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  • James E.December 28, 2013 - 5:50 pm

    Edward, people having to change their health plans is big news to Tea/Republicans because it gives them cause to trash President Obama. As to unemployment expiring, the Tea/Republicans have little to say because they know the lazy unemployed will now get hired on in a full time job paying $15.00 an hour. Given there are alleged to be three applicants for each available job, it is hard to see but Tea/Republicans know it in their heart that it is so. So, on one side much noise, on the other side much silence from our friends across the aisle.

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  • EvelynDecember 29, 2013 - 8:40 am

    A FEW NEW ACA TAXES & FEES - HERE: (1) 2% levy on every health plan (2) $2 fee/policy for the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (3) 2.3% medical device tax on pacemakers, stents, prosthetic limbs (4) Reduced income-tax deductions on out-of-pocket medical expenses (5) Individual tax filers earning more than $200,000 & families earning more than $250,000 will pay an added 0.9% Medicare surtax on top of the existing 1.45%Medicare payroll tax. They will also pay an extra 3.8% Medicare tax on unearned income, such as investment dividends, rental income and capital gains.

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