Patterico's Pontifications

1/21/2014

Increased Medicaid Enrollment Does Not Equal ObamaCare Success

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:30 am

Excellent piece this morning from Anrew Quinn at the Federalist, detailing exactly what ObamaCare proponents can try to claim as a “success.” The piece starts with this analogy:

The Affordable Care Act’s debut has gone remarkably like a terrible blind date. First, the law kept its cautiously optimistic companion—the American public—waiting well past the scheduled hour. When it finally did arrive, Obamacare blundered in awkwardly with shirt half-tucked and hair unkempt.

It’s instantly obvious that this guy is much less handsome than his Tinder profile suggests and far less interesting than his texts made him seem. As the shock wears off, the truth sinks in: This is going to be a brutal evening. And venting at the mutual friend who vouched for the klutz offers no relief: Instead of apologizing, she instructs you to soldier on—“just give the guy a chance!”—and insists there’s a silver lining. “Okay, he’s not exactly smooth. But he has the best sense of humor.”

Quinn’s conclusion, building on the work of Sean Trende, is that at best the law’s proponents can point to maybe 380,000 people on Medicaid as a result of the Medicaid expansion. And since Medicaid does not make people healthier, the best you can say is that ObamaCare represents a money transfer to 380,000 poor people to deal with health care costs, giving those people the peace of mind that comes with having health insurance. Not analyzed is how many people have lost catastrophic health care plans who had been paying for them, and have lost the very peace of mind that the Medicaid recipients have gained.

Meanwhile, Juan Williams says:

And for all the hype about cancelled health insurance plans, Census reported last year that 68 percent of working age Americans, 18-64, get their healthcare through an employer-provided plan. Those plans have not changed or been cancelled because of Obamacare.

Absolutely true, except for all the plans that were changed or cancelled because of ObamaCare, and the people who have been fired or had their full time jobs converted to part time because of ObamaCare, and all the millions whose policies will be changed or cancelled next year when the employer mandate actually goes into effect . . . Juan.

Sheesh.

63 Responses to “Increased Medicaid Enrollment Does Not Equal ObamaCare Success”

  1. Ding.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  2. Contrary to what Juan thinks, my health care plan (partially funded by my employer) has changed in anticipation of the full effect of the ACA. Rates have increased as benefits have changed.
    More importantly, federal control over the practice of medicine has finally got the attention of some of our doctors.

    Tony C (796f81)

  3. Juan Williams is incapable of seeing beyond half the color of Obama’s skin. As Obama’s most important TV sycophant, Williams is Johnny-on-the-spot, everyday he’s making excuses, looking the other way, grasping at straws, dishing out disinformation, conflating issues, and accusing others of the racism he regularly exhibits.

    Firmly ensconced at FOX, Williams is conveniently positioned to nip adverse news in the bud, to immediately put the Administration’s spin on emerging scandals like Solyndra, Fast-n-Furious, Benghazi, IRS, or NSA.

    Jay Carney is Obama’s palooka, Juan Williams is his representative to the press.

    ropelight (4e567a)

  4. Trende’s artie shows how big of a lie that 4,000,000 enrolled figure is.

    JD (d70bfc)

  5. A shill is a shill and Juan is one.

    Glenn (647d76)

  6. The amount of taxpayer money that has been wasted at both the federal and state levels on this purely political boondoggle is absolutely mind boggling. It is criminal.

    elissa (ddbda0)

  7. TIME Magazine ran a whole story, about how a family was (ignorantly) opposed to Obamacare, with the wife even saying at the start that she thiought Obamacare did not cover pre-existing conditions.

    And then they found out how cheap it was, with the best news being that they could actually go on Medicaid.

    http://content.time.com/time/printout/0,8816,2162940,00.html

    They started a business.

    The first problem was that their old insurance, which had cost them $469 a month was not good enough for MD Anderson because it limited daiuly hospital expenses to $2,000. The hospital had demanded $83,900 in advance to treat the husband’s cancer. They had to borrow from the wife’s mother and max out their credit cards to try to save him.

    When Obamcare came up at first they couldn’t log on. Then, they got some help. At first, they estimated their 2014 income at $90,000, which still qualified for a subsidy for a family of four and zeroed in on a plan with a $793 monthly premium that provided full coverage, though with a deductible of $12,000. The subsidy brought it down to $566 a month. They had budgeted $2400 previously.

    Then it turned out their helper could enter only their actual reported 2013 income onto the website, which was significantly less than the $40,000 that the wife was estimating (she may have ignored start–up costs or low sales at first) “the website moved them automatically into Medicaid”

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  8. There is going to be h??l to pay for people who wind up on Medicaid, if they are not permanently very low income.

    Nobody is telling anyone about this. Nobody is asking these questions. Nobody realizes that questions need to be asked.

    I know someone, a nurse, who was not working for a while. And she went to get the cheaper insurance for lower income people for her family. And New York State STEERED HER TO MEDICAID.

    And then she got a well paying job. And when she got insurance through the job, she stopped using Medicaid. I don’t know if she had used it at all very much.

    And then a year later she gets a buill from Medicaid for $15,000 with a form letetr asking her to come up with a payment plan.

    And when she called and said she hadn’t used it she was told by the woman on the other end of the line that they were paying her provider (it was managed care – this thing:

    http://www.fideliscare.org/

    And the woman from the state of New York hung up on her.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  9. They could have simply expanded Medicare and Medicaid to care of the poor, and left the people who can get their own insurance alone.

    But that doesn’t jibe with “Everything in the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state”. That was Mussolini, BTW. Don’t laugh when happyfeet says “fascist” — he knows what he’s talking about.

    nk (dbc370)

  10. The wealth transfer may have been their primary objective all along. More layabouts on the dole.

    Colonel Haiku (cb8c98)

  11. when the employer mandate actually goes into effect

    Changes they won’t announce until just after the mid-term. Perhaps it is good news they are hiding.

    Kevin M (536c5d)

  12. The proper response to the claims about Medicaid is this: “Fine, let’s keep the Medicaid expansion that you say is working, and repeal the rest of it.”

    Kevin M (536c5d)

  13. all the millions whose policies will be changed or cancelled next year when the employer mandate actually goes into effect

    It turns out there’s a loophole in the PPACA, and if your employer wants to, you may be able to keep your health care plan and your doctor, after all!

    Bare-Bones Health Plans Survive Through Quirk in Law Health-Care Overhaul Was Supposed to Eliminate Insurance Plans With Skimpy Coverage

    As long as companies offer at least one plan that complies with the law’s requirements, they are free to keep offering ones that don’t….

    …..AlliedBarton intends to offer its employees two low-cost insurance options—one that meets the law’s requirements for both scope of coverage and affordability, and a cheaper plan that falls short. Offering the compliant plan heads off the law’s penalties. And offering the cheaper plan—which the company thinks most of its security guards will pick—keeps costs down.

    Employees who pick the cheaper plan could have to pay the individual penalty—though that could still cost them less than signing up for the more expensive plan.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  14. And for all the hype about cancelled health insurance plans, Census reported last year that 68 percent of working age Americans, 18-64, get their healthcare through an employer-provided plan. Those plans have not changed or been cancelled because of Obamacare.

    I call BULLSH*T.

    The plan I get from my small business employer changed significantly. My employer had to reduce the amount of their contribution to the plan because they couldn’t afford to keep it where it was. Resulting in a 300% increase in my cost.

    I checked the individual market and really can’t do any better – since the current premium is paid in pre-extortion pre-tax dollars. I earn to much to qualify for socialized medicine subsidy (not that I would apply for one anyway) so I basically screwed.

    But then, that’s the point of the whole thing isn’t it.

    Stephen Macklin (de2190)

  15. Juan Williams is yet another liberal pathological liar. Liberal pathological liar is redundant of course.

    Gerald A (bfbd30)

  16. Speaking of plans changed or cancelled through ObamaCare. . .

    The San Jose Mercury News is trying to breathe life into the ACA by spreading the fiction that ObamaCare provides for “free” services such as flu shots. Here’s how the ObamaCare advocates are framing it:

    Terry Woo, a 53-year-old San Jose father of five [was] getting his inoculation at a Walgreens a few miles away.

    “That’s great,” said Woo, who also receives his health insurance through work. “I fully supported Obamacare, but I didn’t know that [the shot was covered under the new law].”

    After months of controversy and angst following the rocky rollout of the Affordable Care Act — from the initial meltdown of the federal health exchange website to the shock of many consumers told their old policies were being canceled– some of the law’s most tangible perks are finally in place.

    And amid a deadly swine flu outbreak across the country, one potentially life-saving service — free flu shots — could represent the first positive experience millions of average Americans have with the new law.

    The law, signed by President Barack Obama in March 2010, now mandates that most health plans cover a set of preventive services, including shots and screening tests, with no co-payment — regardless of whether someone has met his or her yearly deductible.

    “It’s a great example of how having insurance can make a lot of difference and may reduce a barrier for people,” said Dr. Jeffrey Rideout, senior medical adviser at Covered California, the state’s health insurance exchange.

    Mr. Woo will be in for a rude awakening later this spring when his employer announces that they are (a) requiring employees to increase their health care contribution by 50% in order to meet the ObamaCare requirements or (b) canceling the company insurance plan and dumping everyone on to ObamaCare exchanges.

    But hey, in the meantime we get “free” flu shots and “free” birth control pills and “free” mammograms, so yay ObamaCare.

    JVW (709bc7)

  17. Jua-Juan *Like a sad trombone*

    DejectedHead (a094a6)

  18. Wasn’t there an article out somewhere yesterday that noted only 11% of Obamacare enrollments were of people who were previously uninsured?

    WINNING!!!!

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  19. A comment on the TIME website points out (I noticed this too)

    why did the Recchi family choose the super-expensive MD Anderson previously? Let’s zero in on this passage:

    “MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston had told Stephanie that their insurance (for which they paid $469 a month) was virtually worthless. So the hospital demanded $83,900, in advance, just to develop a treatment plan for Sean and cover his first $13,702 transfusion, along with simple items like gauze pads at $77 per box and routine lab tests for which he was billed tens of thousands of dollars.”

    But today, with Obamacare things have changed…

    “Understanding the limits of what consumers are buying puts another damper on the Recchis’ story: their insurance–whether Medicaid for now or the plan they are likely to transition to later this year–is not going to cover them at MD Anderson in Houston. No Ohio plan will. In fact, only two of 79 plans offered in Texas on its federally run Obamacare exchange include coverage at MD Anderson.”

    O-ops, nope, nothing has changed. Actually, I take it back, things did change, because their pre-Obama insurance did cover MD Anderson:

    “When he was diagnosed with cancer, Sean’s policy [pre-Obamacare] limited his coverage to $2,000 a day in the hospital, which at MD Anderson barely covers an opening round of blood tests.”

    So, now if the Recchi family wants to go to the MD Anderson hospital, they would have to pay the entire sum, and won’t get “even” $2,000 a day they got from the pre-Obama family. Hooray!

    Somehow the wife was now happy or reconciled to not having access to MD Anderson. Maybe they don’t need it any more.

    And to this you can add that the choice of doctors is even more limited under Medicaid.

    Comment by Kevin M (536c5d) — 1/21/2014 @ 9:23 am

    The proper response to the claims about Medicaid is this: “Fine, let’s keep the Medicaid expansion that you say is working, and repeal the rest of it.”

    No, then people fall of a cliff. There’s no phase out. Actually this is actually the worse problem with Obamacare. The phase out comes too early.

    What you need also is paying the premium of all people whose premium is set above X number of dollars.

    Actually what you really need is to create a market, where prices matter, and quality does too.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  20. Claiming 4 million people signed up for Medicaid as a result of the Unaffordable Care Act is as fake as a Wendy Davis biography.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  21. “Juan Williams is incapable of seeing beyond half the color of Obama’s skin.”

    Juan is enough for me to turn off Fox when he appears. I don’t think they made a good decision to take him on when PBS fired him.

    Second, the MD Anderson prices are all “retail” and mean nothing when an insurance company negotiates discounts which are often more than 50%.

    About ten years ago, I was at a vascular surgery meeting where a guy from the Ochsner Clinic a famous surgery clinic, got up and said they were having to refuse referrals from other centers for a very complex condition called aortic arch aneurysm. This announcement was met with dismay because Ochsner had the best results in the world and many big centers sent those cases to them.

    He explained that in this era of managed care, the operation and attendant care of the case cost the clinic about $250,000 and they lost money on every case. The clinic could not continue to absorb the big losses and were going to decline any more transfers.

    By that time, all medical providers had lost any leverage with insurance companies. Don’t believe these propaganda stories about high prices. The insurance companies want the retail prices to stay high because they market their “discounts” to employers, who are their real customers, not patients.

    Mike K (cd7278)

  22. Loosely connected to the current cratering of Government as your friend:

    80 Million plus will be dumped into the waiting arms of Medicaid by November’s end.

    Millions more, will find no alternative:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-01-21/first-domino-fall-retail-cre-commercial-real-estate

    Part-time job in retail? Not for long. Minimum wage hikes will kill that diversion from the soup line.

    gary gulrud (05efc5)

  23. Those plans have not changed or been cancelled because of Obamacare.yet.
    FTFY
    Though I guess it really has already started according to Tony C.

    I once heard Juan Williams interviewed years ago, and it seemed he had a bit of a revelation as to the intellectual dishonesty of the left; I don’t know if that was not real, or if he then relapsed.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  24. I once heard Juan Williams interviewed years ago, and it seemed he had a bit of a revelation as to the intellectual dishonesty of the left; I don’t know if that was not real, or if he then relapsed.

    Too pressed for time to look it up right now, but I seem to recall that Juan Williams’ son turned out to be fairly conservative and ran for some local office (like the DC City Council or something) on a relatively conservative platform. Naturally, he was pilloried as a “sell-out” and “Uncle Tom” and all that. This forced his dad to acknowledge that his side really did have an element of race-mongering and demagoguery to it.

    And then, of course, Juan Williams had his whole kerfuffle with NPR. I always get the feeling that deep down he knows his ideology has been hijacked by rent-seeking thugs, but he can’t seem to throw it off and reexamine his core beliefs.

    JVW (709bc7)

  25. Juan Williams eats Obama johnson 3 square a day. No one cares what he says.

    Rodney King's Spirit (6e2c31)

  26. Medicaid kills. It is a fact.

    Rodney King's Spirit (6e2c31)

  27. I say Juanito
    you cheap sleazy taquito
    what are you up to?

    Colonel Haiku (cb8c98)

  28. I gotta drone in my pocket
    fingah in teh socket
    No way for you ta stop it

    Colonel Haiku (cb8c98)

  29. I gotta drone in my pocket
    fingah in teh socket
    No way for you ta stop it

    Boom, Boom…out go the lights!

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  30. Let’s not lose sight of what’s important – BRIDGEGATE!!!!!!!

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  31. no.

    what’s important is that all intercourse is rape and reading my blog is a threat to me and all women…

    http://witchwind.wordpress.com/

    seriously.

    (rabid, unhinged full moonbat warning)

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  32. redc1c4 – PIV is rape!

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  33. What is this I am hearing about crisis in the Obamas’ marriage? Mitchell seeking to divorce her husband, President Barack Obama over his alleged “infidelities”. Is this another Lewinsky-gate in the brewing?

    The Emperor (98014f)

  34. The Emperor – Go read a tabloid idiot.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  35. Guess I should be relieved he’s not gay after all. (Whew!)

    The Emperor (72bb0c)

  36. “They could have simply expanded Medicare and Medicaid to care of the poor, and left the people who can get their own insurance alone.”

    That’s basically the plan.

    d.wilds (ae20f1)

  37. say how now brown cow
    Groundhog Day over again
    Chimperor Redux

    Colonel Haiku (32b8a6)

  38. The Emperor,

    Even if Me-chelle O’Drama were to file divorce papers which cite Baracky’s infidelities with other men, Baracky could just use that pen he brags about having to write an extraconstitutional Executive Order which would exempt him from divorce court.

    ‘Cuz like he won the election.
    Or something.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  39. There’s no chance that the majority of American businesses have covered the 10 essential benefits of Obamacare.

    lee (807b40)

  40. Isn’t the fact that Barack O’Drama is a former pothead proof positive that the drug is harmful to one’s brain ?

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  41. Guess I should be relieved he’s not gay after all. (Whew!)

    your friends in the MFM have been remarkably coy on what he may have been cheating with…

    likely they’re just trying to come up with acceptable talking points for your ilk before they break the story… when is Gay Pride week anyway?

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  42. Imdw is back. Great.

    JD (5c1832)

  43. Riding a giant Squirrel! no less.

    narciso (3fec35)

  44. I don’t know if the tabloid reports about Me-Chelle wanting to divorce Baracky are true, but I think America wants a divorce from the both of them.

    Irreconciable differences.
    Or whatever.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  45. Perhaps ObamaCare can treat Juan’s compulsive need to prove he is an idiot.

    Perfectsense (4d5c72)

  46. 41. Crack Whore considers doing drugs thru one’s formative years no biggie, but Climate Change excuses the EPA.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/01/21/senior-meteorologist-on-extended-usa-cold-blast-wow-f-ing-wow/#more-101882

    Minus 22 here last night. High tomorrow -2 or something.

    gary gulrud (05efc5)

  47. 26. Medicaid kills. It is a fact.

    Comment by Rodney King’s Spirit (6e2c31) — 1/21/2014 @ 12:38 pm

    Yes it does. That’s exactly what’s wrong with the Medicare expansion.

    People who used to be able to afford their own health insurance can no longer do so.

    What’s the old eligibility cut-off for Medicaid? Now it’s old eligibility cut-off plus how much percent?

    You do not qualify for subsidies if you choose to buy your own insurance instead of signing up for Medicaid.

    In other words, you’ve been priced out of the market. Thanks to the “more generous” coverage of Obamacare, i.e. you must be covered for PAP smears if you’re a 61 y.o. man, you’ve been priced out of the market. That old insurance that used to be within your reach no longer exists. Now you must move from what the Democraps call junk insurance to the ultimate in total crap, insurance in name only pseudo-insurance.

    The whole point of Obamacare is to turn such people into supplicants who are now begging the government not to kill them.

    Steve57 (663093)

  48. @ Redc1c4
    “Your friends in the MFM have been remarkably coy on what he may have been cheating with…”

    Nice try. Turns out the alleged infidelity was with a woman. Someone who helped him in his 2004 senate race, one Miss Vera Baker. She helped him raise millions of dollars for his election. They apparently got close and romantic after that. Then there is the story of being seen in inappropriate situations with some ladies in the white house. Runs in the blood I guess, with his kenyan dad being a well known womanizing polygamist and all. The gays lost this one I guess. :)

    The Emperor (08c3d2)

  49. @ Elephant stone.
    From what I have read she’s not going on with the divorce till after his presidency is over. But meanwhile she has proceeded to remove his things from their Chicago house and they now sleep in separate rooms. This whole thing puts the Mandela memorial thing in perspective.

    The Emperor (fc6588)

  50. Squirrel !

    JD (a7ea1e)

  51. ” Guess I should be relieved he’s not gay after all. (Whew!)

    your friends in the MFM have been remarkably coy on what he may have been cheating with…”

    Do tell.

    “You do not qualify for subsidies if you choose to buy your own insurance instead of signing up for Medicaid.”

    And if your state doesn’t expand Medicaid. Of course this should be changed. Of course it won’t be.

    d.wilds (ae20f1)

  52. We get the troll only on Obamacare threads and not so much as before, have you noticed? Soros’s new wife must be tightening the purse strings.

    nk (dbc370)

  53. Wait! Redc1c4 may be right! Obama is indeed gay! Good Allah! It all makes sense now…. We voted in a gay president?? Wtf!!

    The Emperor (850e76)

  54. obama is gayer than elton john AND lady gaga doing the opening ceremony at the putinlympics while the homeland heifer looks on approvingly with her new bff brian boitano

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  55. Seems like Mitchell just got tired of the charade and wanted out. Wonder if she was getting it from him or was there a willing valet on hand to supply the need? Questions questions questions. Now it makes sense why he’s so zealous for gay marriage. He wants to make it official when he comes out of the closet to introduce to us his husband. I think am gonna be sick…

    The Emperor (a70425)

  56. Juan needs to admit he only voted for him because he’s black. Only then can he start to objectively make logical judgements about him and those who think he is failing on a massive scale.

    Rich (a5d991)

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