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Obamacare rollout leaves millions without insurance, facing higher costs

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From page A1 | November 15, 2013 | 29 Comments

Despite efforts to put a good spin on things, to date the rollout of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) has been one disaster after another.

Currently, the federal government is running insurance exchanges in 36 states for those shopping for health insurance.

Plagued with technology glitches and breakdowns, fewer than 27,000 people have actually used the federal exchanges to select health insurance, according to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

In addition state marketplaces for health insurance have been set up in 15 states plus the District of Columbia. Some 79,000 people have used those to enroll.

Taken together, a total of 106,185 people have enrolled nationally over the period Oct. 1 to Nov. 2.

At the same time, more than 4.8 million Americans received notices that their preexisting plans will soon be illegal and will be cancelled, according to Forbes Magazine.

In California the situation is no different with only 35,364 people signing up for insurance using a state exchange.

However, California state Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said that at the same time, more than 1 million Californians received cancellation notices from their insurance companies because their insurance no longer meets the minimum coverage required by Obamacare.

Contributing to California’s problems is that three of the country’s largest health insurers — UnitedHealth Group, Aetna, and Cigna — announced they wouldn’t participate in the California insurance exchange.

Budget forecasters had previously projected that 7 million people would enroll during the open enrollment period which runs until March 31. People have to sign up by that date to avoid the individual mandate fee for not having health insurance.

Obamacare is also causing heartburn to those who believed President Obama when he repeatedly told people they would be able to keep their existing health insurance and doctors. However, people are now finding out that was untrue as their insurance policies are canceled because they don’t include services mandated by the law.

Admittedly Obamacare will allow some people to purchase health care who otherwise couldn’t afford to. However, many others are facing much higher premiums because of the new mandates.

According to a recent study by the Manhattan Institute, those who shop for insurance coverage on their own under Obamacare will find their underlying premiums will increase, on average, by 41 percent with the steepest hikes imposed on the healthy, the young, and on males.

In California, the average increase in premiums is expected to be anywhere between 20 and 50 percent.

Employees are finding there are other hidden costs associated with Obamacare, including employers who would rather pay a penalty than foot the cost for employee health care coverage or who require employees to pick up a larger portion of the cost of health care premiums because of rising costs. Other employers have chosen to reduce their workforce or the hours employees work in response to Obamacare.

According to a poll sponsored by business groups and referenced in the Christian Science Monitor, about 30 percent of small franchises and 12 percent of other small businesses say they are cutting work hours — or swapping full-time for part-time workers — because of the law.

This is more bad news in a country already suffering from a weak economy, high unemployment and stagnant wages.

Despite all the setbacks, federal officials remain optimistic that enrollments will pick up once all the bugs are ironed out of the insurance exchanges.

On Thursday President Obama announced he plans to offer an administrative “fix” to the law, saying that states and insurers can extend current policies canceled under Obamacare for a year. This “fix” will mean that current plans sold to customers will not be considered out of compliance with the health care law in 2014.

However, House Speaker John Boehner said he was “highly skeptical” the Obama administration would be able to fix the problems administratively. Obamacare is a “rolling calamity that has to be stopped,” he said. “This is going to destroy the best health care delivery system in the world.”

Note: The Mountain Democrat wants to know if any local residents are experiencing problems due to Obamacare. If so, please contact Dawn Hodson at 530-344-5071 or dhodson@mtdemocrat.net with the details.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 29 comments

  • cookie65November 15, 2013 - 4:32 am

    Slow motion train wreck. People who voted twice for this are too stupid to argue with. The left has developed a new strategy for selling ocommycare. They will speak almost exclusively about the "future". How wonderful it is going to be once everyone sees what they have done. Once the bugs are worked out, once everyone is covered. Watch and see. Any questions they are presented with will be spun into some time down the road, some future fantasy when socialism will lead to the utopian dream of equally shared misery. It will be just like hope and change, nothing definable but you will understand just how smart they are at some unknown future date.

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  • cookie65November 15, 2013 - 7:06 am

    When it comes to ocommycare.... you DID build that.

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  • GeraldNovember 15, 2013 - 8:00 am

    Ms Hodson what is your alternative to the Affordable Health Care Act? How do you propose insuring the 47 million Americans who have no access to regular health care. I am under the impression that only two parties can cancel an insurance policy. The issuer and the insured so please explain how "Obama Care" is leaving MILLIONS of people without insurance. I don't care for the way "Obama Care" is constructed but I don't have a better idea so I am going to sit back and see if it works. And for all those who have forgotten we were told the world would end if Medicare became law and implementation of Medicare Part D was a total wreck even after 4 months.

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  • cookie65November 15, 2013 - 8:03 am

    Looks as though Gerald got his talking points marching orders to talk about "future" possibilities in order to take the focus away from the millions who are being booted from their private insurance.

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  • cookie65November 15, 2013 - 8:00 am

    oprah explains why ocommycare is such a flop. The ever dependable race card. http://therightscoop.com/video-oprah-winfrey-tells-bbc-many-americans-hate-obama-because-hes-black/

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  • Dink LaneNovember 16, 2013 - 12:11 pm

    Cookie: I watched the whole interview (Oprah on BBC) and I agree with her -- There is an underlying HATRED for anything President Obama does, for Joe Wilson's "You Lie" shout out to Rep. King's "How dare Obama's girls have security," but had no problem with Bush's daughter's having security...

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  • cookie65November 16, 2013 - 5:51 pm

    Dink, just in case you were in a coma during Bush, I don't recall the love the left had for anything he did. By the way how did obama get elected twice and oprah become one the most successful people in TV history in a country full of such racists? By the way, Joe Wilson was right. obama was/is and continues to lie. I am surprised you are still defending him, the redistribution of wealth runs deep in you. The left has destroyed the meaning of what used to be a very important word. Prior to the left throwing it at anything and everything as an excuse it actually meant something.

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  • Dink LaneNovember 16, 2013 - 12:15 pm

    One more Cookie: The flop part.... is that the "Denying preexisting conditions" or is it "Stopping Canceling coverage in the middle of treatments" or maybe you want to go back to "Children 25 and under can stay on their parent's plans." COOKIE..... Do you really want to UNDO that?

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  • cookie65November 15, 2013 - 8:59 am

    You could make the argument that ocommycare is a system whereby those prevented from adequate healthcare are awarded not only choices but also a voucher (subsidy) to obtain healthcare. So why is it that the left opposes the exact same thing when it comes to public education? Oh that's right, it is about dependence, money and power.

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  • 1036-FrankNovember 15, 2013 - 9:14 am

    Insurers, who's business is to sell policies, never wanted to cancel millions of policies as a business model it is reducing business, the cancellations are due to changes mandated by this new "law" or tax or social redistribution of assets required by the bad idea from the left that healthy young people will be buying into this and others will want to pay many times more to subsidize others then they were because the left said they should, govt. knows best ideas always fail. People were buying policies based on what they could afford and leftists who want to control people don't like that. This is like if the govt. suddenly tripled your auto insurance and you were told it is because you have to pay for those who don't drive now, but will cause accidents in the future. This gigantic leftist mess was a theory from a college professor and it has failed as all leftist programs have to date when the free market is replaced with thousands of pages of new govt. controls and requirements. This is also one of the biggest Presidential lies in history and the unraveling of Ali-Bummer and his forty thieves and this loss of insurance for millions will not be forgotten in 2014.

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  • Fran DuchampNovember 15, 2013 - 9:29 am

    Obamacare is a “rolling calamity that has to be stopped,” he said. “This is going to destroy the best health care delivery system in the world.” I believe people warned of this way before it was "decided."

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  • cookie65November 15, 2013 - 10:15 am

    The leftists ministry of propaganda (goes under the title New York Times) is declaring in a piece from yesterday that the incompetent One bowed to "bipartisan" pressure on Thursday to create law via a speech when he declared policies cancelled under ocommycare mandates suitable to be retained. What a total misrepresentation of fact!!!! He caved to partisan pressure from the little ceasars of the left who are in total panic over being removed from their public treasury bubble in the next election. In other words, delay the impact of leftists totalitarianism until after the next election. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/15/us/politics/obama-to-offer-health-care-fix-to-keep-plans-democrat-says.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20131115&_r=2&

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  • Placerville NativeNovember 15, 2013 - 12:49 pm

    Ah, excuse me, but where is your optimistic and lofty commentary regarding the glorious implementation of The Affordable Care Act Mr. Wasserman? Unfortunately for America, I told you so! http://www.mtdemocrat.com/letters/why-they-want-to-kill-obamacare-now/

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  • Susie O.November 15, 2013 - 6:10 pm

    cookie65, because Gerald has a different viewpoint than you, you feel the need to make him sound like a robot following orders? But, you boohoo anytime someone disagrees with you and you cite your constitutional rights. I find this interesting as you seem to have the GOP talking points down pat. But I don't bully you about it. Why do you feel the need to jump all over someone who disagrees with you? You seem like a bully on these comment boards. Along with several others.

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  • Concerned CitizenNovember 16, 2013 - 12:12 am

    Susie, it's not any GOP talking point(s). It's facts and logic. The left really should try it sometime. You are quite the good liberal too with your typical leftist hypocrisy as you bully cookie for what you perceive as cookie bullying others. However, cookie is bullying no one as facts, truth and logic is not bullying. It's simply reality. The left need to try that too! This attempt at the liberal Socialist Utopia is not working and we knew it wouldn't. Facts, logic. Reality. It's good for every body!

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  • Vicci NolanNovember 16, 2013 - 10:54 am

    Is this a "news article" or an editorial?

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  • cookie65November 16, 2013 - 6:01 pm

    Vicci, is there some part of the title you are not up to speed on? It is fairly self-explanatory even if you just landed here from some other universe and picked up any paper.

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  • Vicci NolanNovember 17, 2013 - 1:44 pm

    I prefer to not watch Fox news.

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  • cookie65November 17, 2013 - 4:12 pm

    Wow, I've never heard that one before.

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  • cookie65November 16, 2013 - 5:59 pm

    You know dink, your strawman of one extreme or the other and nothing in between is were you lose credibility. It isn't because I don't want clean air and water that I know global warming is a fraud and it isn't because I don't want people to have access to healthcare insurance that I want ocommycare thrown on the trash heap of history. I didn't lie to you dink, obama did. I didn't kick millions of people off their healthcare, the leftists did. How do you justify your hypocrisy dink? You want everyone insured and the first thing ocommycare does is uninsured millions. Interesting logic you leftists employ whenever circumstances warrant. Did you see the link I posted on another thread where all those college kids who voted for obama are getting kick off their college healthcare and they can't afford the ocommycare?

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  • cookie65November 16, 2013 - 6:34 pm

    Vicci, I wouldn't want to overload you with any reality but it isn't just millions of people being kicked off their private insurance, it is also thousands of doctors being booted from networks. Did you really believe obama? I bet you even thought he didn't know what his flame throwing America hating racist pastor was preaching for the twenty years obama sat there and soaked it up. Welcome to earth, will you be staying long? http://news.yahoo.com/unitedhealth-drops-thousands-doctors-insurance-plans-wsj-030014903--finance.html

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  • cookie65November 17, 2013 - 7:55 am

    "Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practise to deceive." -- Sir Walter Scott http://www.foxbusiness.com/business-leaders/2013/11/14/lies-damn-lies-and-obamacare/?intcmp=fbfeatures

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  • cookie65November 17, 2013 - 12:23 pm

    The firing of the DC insurance commissioner for daring to question the viability/legality of "the fix" offered by the liar in chief once again sheds light on how leftism is nothing short of force and submission. Such blasphemy will not be tolerated. The thinskinned empty suit is doing more to expose the evil lie of leftism than I could have ever hoped for. Granted, there will always be those so dependent on what they are told to believe that they are beyond help. He could be clubbing baby seals on the beach and they wouldn't care as long as they believed he would provide them access to other peoples money. hope&chains.

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  • Fran DuchampNovember 17, 2013 - 1:38 pm

    Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand: President Obama Should Have Been 'More Specific' With Healthcare Promise ABC NewsBy Benjamin Bell | ABC News – 3 hrs ago http://tinyurl.com/m3beu3h

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  • Fran DuchampNovember 17, 2013 - 2:14 pm

    Obama: Repairing damaged credibility is 'on me' http://tinyurl.com/llq9mhg

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  • Fran DuchampNovember 17, 2013 - 2:16 pm

    Clyburn: Obama failed to explain health care promise CNN http://tinyurl.com/kjgtp7g

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  • Fran DuchampNovember 17, 2013 - 2:41 pm

    7mins ago....Pelosi: Dems 'stand tall' in support of health care law http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/11/17/democrats-defend-health-law/3618991/

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  • EvelynDecember 02, 2013 - 9:34 am

    628 pages of Obamacare was written by a senior Democratic operative imprisoned for bank fraud. HERE Does it matter?

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  • EvelynDecember 02, 2013 - 9:39 am

    Robert Creamer is the above democratic party operative. HERE: "He was also a lobbyist for George Soros’s Open Society Institute. Today Creamer heads the Strategic Consulting Group, a political consultancy whose list of clients includes ACORN, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the AFL-CIO, the United Steelworkers Union of America, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and dozens of others."

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