Monday, March 31, 2014

If you want to keep your "Market Driven" failure of a healthcare system... well, you lose.

A story in the LA Times today about a study by Rand Research says the enrolment figures for the Affordable Care Act (which conservative frothers know only as Obamacare), will likely be near or even above 9.5 million people by the enrolment deadline (today).  Meaning, of the perhaps 17 million uninsured workers, and 47 million Americans in total without insurance, the ACA will have found a way to cover half of the workers and about 1/5 of all, and that's SO FAR.  Also, it will have ended the practices of pre-existing exclusions and limitations, something tried in 1996 but around which insurance companies found loopholes.

Obamacare has led to health coverage for millions more people

At least 9.5 million previously uninsured people have gotten health insurance since Obamacare started, surveys and reports show.

WASHINGTON — President Obama's healthcare law, despite a rocky rollout and determined opposition from critics, already has spurred the largest expansion in health coverage in America in half a century, national surveys and enrollment data show.

As the law's initial enrollment period closes, at least 9.5 million previously uninsured people have gained coverage. Some have done so through marketplaces created by the law, some through other private insurance and others through Medicaid, which has expanded under the law in about half the states.

The tally draws from a review of state and federal enrollment reports, surveys and interviews with insurance executives and government officials nationwide.
The Affordable Care Act still faces major challenges, particularly the risk of premium hikes next year that could drive away newly insured customers. But the increased coverage so far amounts to substantial progress toward one of the law's principal goals and is the most significant expansion since the creation of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965.

The millions of newly insured also create a politically important constituency that may complicate any future Republican repeal efforts.

This also means it will be 2.5 million MORE than the Obama Administration set as an estimate last summer, and about a BAGILLION times more than the nay-saying, just say NO to everything crowd of Republicans said would get enrolled last fall after the initial roll-out had capacity/throughput issues (some of which were directly attributable programming problems which were the outgrowth of the intential lack of funding Republicans created for the program from 2010 on - thereby creating the very failures they pointed out).

On an even funner and funnier side, the number of Americans who may have had their insurance dropped NOT BY THE ADMINISTRATION BUT BY COMPANIES WHO CHOSE TO NOT REPLACE THE PLAN WITH ONE THAT DIDN'T EXCLUDE PRE-EX CONDITIONS, will not be "Millions of Americans" but more likely, "hundreds of thousands", or maybe a 10:1 ratio of those who got insurance vs. those who no longer have piece of sh*T plans offered by lowball companies. And let's be clear about one thing, when Obama said, "If you like your healthplan, you can keep it" he meant the Administration wasn't going to take anything from you.  It/he can't keep unscrupulous companies from doing unscrupulous things.

Even so, that number was (gasp!) greatly exagerated and much poo was flung by those who don't get that spending 26% of our national economy is a recipe for economic stagnation and decline - and it was flung about these "poor Americans" who would lose their craptastical insurance.  Well it seems, not so much.

In the end, what this shows is, America and Americans needed a better choice than the rip-you-off because you will pay anything to save your loved-ones "market driven" solution the US insurance companies and health care providers devised over the past 40 years.  This is a first step, and unlike all of the negative pronouncements, it appears to not only have met, but far exceeded (to the tune of exceeding it by 30%) expectations.  Show me a private company that fought tooth and nail against multi-billion dollar lobbying to launch a nationwide product using multiple vendors, which met and exceeded expectations by 30%.  There are a few, but damned few.  What it shows is that collectively, using economies of scale, the same economies large companies use, we can, if we try, do great and even very good things, despite the hate-mongers. 

So, much like Ronnie RayGun was wrong about Medicare leading the US down the road to becoming a communist nation - go read, he said that very thing, those of you who said the system would fail and it would greatly harm the US, you were wrong. You lose.  The final pilar of a socially concience state has had it's foundation set.  The funny thing is, someday, you'll understand that it was the BEST thing that could happen.  We have to get our businesses out of the business of needing to feed an unending amount of cash into a broken healthcare system if we are to compete on a global stage.  The current model was bankrupting us FAR more than Washington DC ever could.  Someday you may understand it, but I'll not hold my breath.  If I do, though, at least I know I'll not have any charges related to my subsequent treatement denied payment because I held my breath once when I was six.  Maybe you should start holding your breath until they repeal it - and then you too can see how nice it is not to have to worry about whether your insurance is going to screw you, again.

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