The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) And Insurance Company Letters


Any rational American has to know Big Insurance was not enamored with the prospect of healthcare reform (Affordable Care Act - ACA).  Despite an appearance of acquiescence in working within the parameters of the ACA, the brilliant capitalist at Big Insurance have found a crack in reform. Low cost and 'lite' coverage post enactment of the ACA are subject to cancellation; they fall shy of mandatory levels of coverage.  Well, that is no problem for Big Insurance. ACA requirements actually force carriers to cancel policies if outside coverage parameters of the ACA; and you know the rest. The insurer cancels the 'lite' policy and offers a higher cost ACA compliant policy. Certainly nothing illegal, but advantageous to the maximum.  Also quite probably a dynamic that should have been anticipated by the administration and addressed as a development consideration. If the problem was beyond the scope of a fix before  implementation, issue communication and suggestion of a fix should have been available to major stakeholders like the Head of HHS and the president. A fix that goes beyond lower income federal government subsidies to offset expense to the insured. There really is no answer for people who wish to incur exorbitant medical expenses on the back side of low cost, high risk policies that only cover medical basics. But, now we are hindsight speculating, right?

All said problems exist in ACA enrollment. Some problems are being exacerbated for political reasons. Others are reacting and responding to the wishes and funding of uber wealthy plutocrats. Many complaints are legitimate complaints with legitimate answers. Answer that are easily addressed with it of research people will not accomplish research. Thus, media fills the void in 3 to 5 minute segments.   

Relying on media is particularly problematic.  Ratings drive media as surely as low prices drives Wal Mart. We reap the benefit of Wal Mart's low prices, but hidden behind those prices are unfair and unbalanced work environments.   Additionally, we are in some cases buying products made in foreign factories thus depriving our selves of jobs and healthy communities. Media for the most part is comparable.

When seeking ratings, the network actually seeks faces to view advertisements reflected via media research companies.  Attracting faces to news is most often accomplished only via news that excites, agitates, muck-rakes  or reveals titillating information.  News related to the ACA is coming to us in some cases without media probing their emotional (supposed) victims. Emotion is an effective way to attract viewers; so is misleading or incomplete broadcast information. Media seeks ratings and ratings come best with "muck."  We all know of one network with a primarily mission of delivering and feeding Obama Derangement Syndrome (ODS) to its viewers. CBS and NBC have broadcast "victim" segments that were (we assume) unintentionally misleading. We cannot write similarly about the such broadcast from Fox News.

Last night Chris Hayes, ALL IN, MSNBC ran a segment that embodies the minimum coverage dynamic as well as any I have witnessed. If you take a few minutes to view the segment, you will come away better informed of the, "my insurance cancel me and now I have to pay more" problem. And, yes there are quite a few other ACA issues that need focused intervention and fixes.

The segment was not a short segment. We offer a link to the LA Times piece written by the ALL IN guest. But, as we always often communicate on the TPI: " High information people find a way to take the time and expend the effort, thus nourishing the mind." 

The segment does not address possible recommendations to fix the problem. A fix is not a focus of the media.  However, the segment does a great job of showing how media misinforms and does so in a manner that a basic journalism student would find unacceptable.  A dynamic that causes our concern about intent and motive.

There is no TPI attempt to rationalize problems with the ACA.  A healthcare system that provides service potential for all is common among industrialized nations.  It is important to recognize there are reasons for some glitches, just as there are inexcusable flops (to date) with enrollment tools that involve use of the ACA website.

As a minimum poor project/contractor management was a problem inside HHS and from the White House. We are certain President Obama, in hindsight, feels he should have micromanaged the implementation of the ACA on a more hands-on basis. But, for a President of the United States how realistic is micromanaging of such a huge undertaking.

Misleading the public does little to help solve problems associated with law that will benefit millions.

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