As many of us anxiously waited throughout the entire Thanksgiving dinner, through all three football games and after becoming accustomed to watching that much contact sports, it almost seemed natural to get out there and be part of the action-packed Black Friday shopping, with one hand pushing the crowds away and the other on the very best X-Box deal we could find.
Our mind was actually waiting for the word that the front end problems were fixed, that everything will now work fine, that the healthcare.gov website was now up and running, as President Obama had promised us. But unfortunately, Julie Bataille may have been guilty of watching all those football games too, because on Saturday morning, November 30th her healthcare.gov message offered little real fix wanting only to, hypothetically of course, move the goal posts. Sadly, none of us who recently had our health insurance cancelled, were about to score.
The text of Ms. Bataille’s message started with the obligatory “TO BE CLEAR… November 30th does not represent a relaunch of healthcare.gov. It is not a magical date. There will be times after November 30th when the site, (say it isn’t so…) like any website, does not perform optimally. And our work will continue into December and beyond to make further improvements. (But, not to worry, Toni Townes-Whitley, Michele’s BFF from CGI Federal, will continue to make millions into December and beyond to make further improvements…;). By the way, I more than likely missed that class, but what happens when we push that “Apply on Phone” button on the healthcare.gov home page?
For those of you who did not get a chance to read (or hear) Obama’s mandates via Organizing For Action (OFA) meant to disrupt our Thanksgiving dinners - The Ten Point Plank, with responses can be seen here. The reason I say ‘hear’ in parentheses above, is that on Wednesday, through windblown-sheets-of-rain, my wife Patricia nervously wrote, in the forgotten art of shorthand, most of the ten OFA talking points as Rush Limbaugh read them on his show, whilst we traveled to be with family for the Thanksgiving holiday. So, under the heading - “If we only knew then what we know now” – The Organizing For ReAction (OFR) group hereby pledges to check in with Greg first to get a heads up on his ‘reactionary’ talking points.
By the way, the only politics discussed, if you want to call it that, during our Thanksgiving dinner conversations was when Aunt Mary, just for fun and keeping within the history and spirit of the holiday asked: What do you think our country would look like today if Barack Hussein Obama came over on the Mayflower instead of William Bradford? Everyone smiled – except Cousin Eric. And, then during a commercial break in the Cowboy game, Eric, who is a Junior at OSU, gave his best shot at (OFA TP#10) We’re just trying to help poor people get healthcare. How can that be wrong? Why do you hate poor people? And, because Uncle Charlie’s response (closing the deal) was so well stated, the conversation quickly ended. And therefore, I decided to end this article with it, too.
Meanwhile, let us not lose site of the fact that had the healthcare.gov website worked perfectly, like for example Amazon.com does from day one, ObamaCare would still present a gathering storm of massive destruction just over the horizon as a very serious healthcare crisis comes to America. There are still over five million health insurance policies that have already been canceled for not meeting a minimum of the ten ObamaCare mandates, with tens of millions more losing their heath insurance – just after the November elections. Please remember this as a major OFR talking point.
Most of us now know that, You can keep your doctor, was just another component of his phony sales pitch to keep a smiley-face on the front page while he and his fellow travelers devastated the American healthcare system on the following 2,000 pages. The once honorable-patient-doctor relationship is now on life support, as your insurance policies change. Your doctor for the past 12-15 years, either no longer accepts your policy or your out-of-pocket deductibles have quadrupled.
As we mentioned in our original Organizing For ReAction article, the Fabricator-in-Chief claimed to have over 200,000 OFA followers on a conference-call saying “in the first month alone, we’ve seen more than 100 million Americans already successfully enrolled in the new insurance plans.” – Amazon.com might want to consider, with such a high volume of unique hits, hiring CGI Federal to increase their own web traffic. But seriously, what is really happening with the actual number of ObamaCare sign-ups is an explosion of new Medicaid enrollees. The CBO put the more realistic number at approximately Nine (9) Million people who have been added to Medicaid through ObamaCare, so far. And, to many like young/wide-eyed Cousin Eric, with his – “We’re just trying to help poor people get healthcare, how can that be wrong?” Here’s what’s wrong, Eric: low reimbursement rates and many doctors won’t take new ObamaCare/Medicaid patients because they won’t be able to afford to take them.
We have also seen warnings that there will be a doctor shortage in the country, but that will only be true in certain pockets of the market, where there is greater demand and fewer doctors willing to provide services, where they either refuse all Medicaid patients or cap the number at around 10% of their total practice, which by the way, is also a business.
As an example, for a normal procedure that a General Practitioner might be reimbursed around $1,000 from a regular health insurance plan, Medicare would pay about half or around $475, and Medicaid in turn would pay only $250. Keep in mind this doctor is running a small business, with employees, office expenses and not the least of which, high liability insurance to cover him against malpractice lawsuits. Medicaid might as well be classified as Pro Bono work for most doctors, because at these low reimbursement rates they are actually losing money on each Medicaid patient. But, if this isn’t bad enough for the GP, the real obstacles to patient care begin with the out-patient specialty referrals because most specialists refuse to take any Medicaid patients. Medicaid has historically been the lowest tier of reimbursements. Most commercial insurers are now calling ObamaCare - Medicaid Plus – and many doctors will simply choose not to accept or cap it, Eric, and not because they hate poor people, but because they would likely go out of business without some controls in place. Medicaid is currently about 6% of the GDP, while Medicare (which retirees paid into) is around 3% of the GDP. Many states with Republican Governors are choosing not to expand Medicaid in their state based on budget constraints.
One major ObamaCare fiasco that I purposely did not mention today, which will be the total focus of a future article, is – cyber security. Prior to or since the November 30th relaunch, the healthcare.gov has not had an independent security audit and does not to date offer a secure online environment. Many cyber security experts have testified to Congress that the website is not secure. With that one thought in mind, who knowingly would give cyber thieves access to their personal information for the purpose of stealing their identity and cleaning out their bank accounts. Maybe today it’s a blessing in disguise, but for Amazon.com to successfully-make-a-sale a shopper has to move his/her online shopping carts to the cashier window; healthcare.gov cashier window is not yet opened for business. Only in the eyes of a disingenuous government leader like Obama can 100 million people successfully enroll in new insurance plans where no financial commitment to the policy is necessary, or for that matter – possible.
No, what the ObamaCare folks like Ms. Bataille have done is nothing more than moved the goal posts, or put a fresh coat of paint on the house, or have you heard, they changed the ObamaCare name. Now, rumor has it that as the name became so toxic, Michele told them unequivocally that she would file for a name change if they didn’t immediately start calling it the Affordable Care Act. Which by the way, will more than likely work throughout the holiday and into early January, as the word Affordable will have run its course as more and more Americans lose their health insurance, lose their doctors or get the sticker-shock of their new Affordable coverage where they will get less and pay more for it. Their last name change will then be to Patient Protection, and after that it’s anybody’s guess what name they will then have to call it. It’s no wonder he had to move the employer mandate back until January 2015. Can you imagine the run on pitchforks and touches had he not. I, for one have become so cynical with nearly zero trust in the actual motivation behind any action that this administration makes, I believe that the recent Iran nuke deal was done simply to get the ObamaCare (whoops The Affordable Care Act) cancellations and failures out of the headlines. As we all know, you just can’t shine shiite, although the Unanimous Democrats will use every Alinsky-tactic in their playbook to make us believe they can over the next 11 months.
As promised, Uncle Charlie turned to Cousin Eric and in a mild non-argumentative voice asked, “Have you ever heard of the book, The Ten Cannots by Rev. William Boetcher? He then went on to list just a few saying, “You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.” “You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money.” But, the most important one on his list of ten is, “You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they can and should do for themselves, for it will only destroy men’s initiative and independence.” And, then came Uncle Charlie’s close. Eric, he said, “While you are in college, if you were not a liberal thinker, your professors and fellow classmates would think you didn’t have a heart. But, when you get out in the real world of self reliance and responsibilities, if you are still a liberal thinker, you will have wasted a brain, because you cannot use it to think.