The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.
Showing posts with label Affordable Care Act. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Affordable Care Act. Show all posts

Sunday, July 30, 2017

ObamaCare: For Those Who Care

Image result for Aca
If you are like the majority of Americans, you have a position on the Affordable Care Act (AKA ObamaCare) and that position is most likely based on your personal experience. Of course, you may have lived to a point in life where you are covered via Medicare, or maybe covered via Medicaid. If you are covered by Medicare, and harbor major ill will or wish to appeal for the Obamacare, you are probably a high-end Baby Boomer conservative. 

In either case, you know one thing about the ObamaCare. It offers 30 million Americans opportunity for health care comprehensive health care. Health care where none existed unless employed in a job with medical coverage as an employee benefit. The law also places humane restrictions on how insurance companies administer plans: coverage for children up to age 26, pre-existing conditions coverage, and premium subsidies in cases of low-income families. All items the common conservatives don't give one damn about; especially if the conservative has to assist in any way with the availability of the law (eg. taxes and higher premiums).  To be fair since the inception of the ACA, millions who call themselves conservatives and are not yet Medicare eligible have come to realize their quality of life has improved via the ACA; that means it is now integral to their lives until age sixty-five.

Kaiser Family poll, 2013

Image result for obama care survey results

Kaiser Family poll 2016
Table 1: Voters’ Attitudes Towards the ACA
As you may know, a health reform bill was signed into law in 2010. Given what you know about the health reform law, do you have a generally favorable or generally unfavorable opinion of it?All votersTrump votersClinton voters
Favorable (NET)45%15%79%
          Very favorable20540
          Somewhat favorable251039
Unfavorable (NET)508118
          Very unfavorable33635
          Somewhat unfavorable171813
Don’t know/Refused544

While Trump supporters overwhelmingly want the law repealed, conservative (GOP) support in aggregate is a far different reality.
Figure 8: Among the 26 Percent Who Want the ACA Repealed, Some Attitudes Are Malleable
Let's cherry-pick things a bit Kaiser found a few of the ACA provisions appealing to most poll takers with one provision standing out like a whacked out president making inappropriate remarks at a Boy Scout Jamboree.

Table 2: Americans’ Opinions of ACA Provisions
Percent who say they have a FAVORABLE opinion of each of the following provisions of the law:TotalDemocratsIndependentsRepublicans
Allows young adults to stay on their parents’ insurance plans until age 2685%90%85%82%
Eliminates out-of-pocket costs for many preventive services83898377
Closes the Medicare prescription drug “doughnut hole” so people on Medicare will no longer be required to pay the full cost of their medications81868969
Creates health insurance exchanges where small businesses and people can shop for insurance and compare prices and benefits80908072
Provides financial help to low- and moderate-income Americans who don’t get insurance through their jobs to help them purchase coverage80918167
Gives states the option of expanding their existing Medicaid program to cover more low-income, uninsured adults80907967
Prohibits insurance companies from denying coverage because of a person’s medical history69756563
Increases the Medicare payroll tax on earnings for upper-income Americans69826363
Requires employers with 50 or more employees to pay a fine if they don’t offer health insurance60836045
Requires nearly all Americans to have health insurance or else pay a fine35573021
Note: Some items asked of half samples. Question wording abbreviated. See topline for full question wording.
For example, large shares of Americans – including at least eight in ten overall and at least eight in ten Democrats, Republicans, and independents – have a favorable view of the fact that the law allows young adults to stay on their parents’ insurance plans up to age 26.

So much for polling  data.  Charles Gaba, an authority on the ACA, offers two video with all you need to know about the ACA and its impact on the nation.  The video is in two parts. 

Part 1

Part 2


Saturday, September 5, 2015

Connect The Dots USA: Medicare Hypocrites

Kudos to Connect The Dots USA and we thank the site Administrator for allowing Connect posts on the TPI

Now as much as I love Medicare, the truth is only about 50% of it can be called an “earned benefit.” Most folks don’t realize that since Medicare’s inception, the payroll tax (2.9% for most workers; and recently 3.8% for high income over $200,000 single/$250,000 married) funds only the Part A hospital insurance portion. Thanks to provisions in the Affordable Care Act, the Part A trust fund was extended by 13 years so the program is projected to be able pay out full benefits until 2030. After that, if nothing is changed, the Part A payroll tax will only cover 86% of benefits.

You can see from the most recent Trustees’ report that the Part B doctor/outpatient portion and especially the Part D prescription drug portion get most of their funding — a whopping $189 Billion and $58 Billion respectively in 2014 — from general tax revenues. That’s the same pot of money that funds other important priorities like education, infrastructure, defense and food stamps.

For 95% of Medicare enrollees — those make less than $85,000 single or $170,000 married — the $105 Part B and average $35 Part D premium are calculated to cover only about 25% of the actual average per person cost. So the typical Medicare beneficiary is getting government “welfare” of the other 75% — about $460/month or $5,520/year — to cover the true cost of the premiums.

Even high earners in the top means-tested tier with INCOME of $214,000 single/$428,000 married are still getting govt welfare to cover about 25% of the actual costs of Part B and Part D = about $160/month or $1,920/year. Why are we giving these very high earning seniors any govt assistance at all?

While Part B and Part D are not earned benefits, the good news is they can never run short on money, as the Social Security or Medicare Part A trust fund can. By design, the programs will just keep pulling more money from general tax revenues to cover the annual costs. The bad news is, they will eat up an increasingly larger part of the overall budget if costs are not kept under control — rather like the Pentagon budget!

In short, no one enrolled in Medicare has any moral high ground to criticize someone receiving food stamps, Medicaid or the Affordable Care Act subsidies. Nobody “paid in all their life” to Part B or Part D. Heck, the Part D program did not even exist until 2003, with benefits starting in 2006. 

Chew on that all you ungrateful, Medicare-loving, Tea Party hypocrites!


Monday, August 31, 2015

Affordable Care Act Assimilates

As the Affordable Care Act assimilates to US society and our social culture, we can rely on Charles Gaba's website for updates.

Welcome back from vacation, Charles!

Kaiser Family Foundation: Only 28% now want to repeal ACA

OK, I'm a little late on this one due to being on vacation last week, but the Kaiser Family Foundation released their latest national healthcare tracking poll:
Consistent with findings over the past few months, the American public remains divided in their opinion of the health care law; 44 percent say they have a favorable view and 41 percent say they have an unfavorable view. Opinion of the law continues to diverge along party lines, with most Democrats reporting a favorable view of the law (76 percent) and most Republicans reporting an unfavorable view of the law (71 percent). Among independents, 46 percent say they have an unfavorable view, while 39 percent report a favorable view.
If you smooth out the lines, the trend is gradual but clear: Since an all-time low approval during the disastrous exchange website launch in October 2013, approval of the ACA has slowly crawled back up to a plurality of approval...while disapproval, which reached a fever pitch during the massive midterm attack ad bombardment last summer, has dropped off at an even faster rate.

Opinion about what Congress should do next when it comes to the law also has been fairly constant over time. Nearly 3 in 10 (28 percent) say they want Congress to expand what the law does, an identical share (28 percent) hope for a complete repeal of the law, and the remainder fall in the middle by saying they want Congress to continue implementing the law as it is (22 percent) or scale it back (12 percent).
Put another way: 50% of the country wants to either keep or expand the ACA, while only 28% want to fully repeal it. The 12% who want to "scale it back" could mean any number of things...for instance, I'm among the supporters of the ACA who still thinks that the SHOP program should probably be scrapped completely; it only enrolled around 76,000 people last year (it wasn't launched on or in some state-based exchanges), and is only up to around 200-300K this year even with all 50 states+DC operating.
Here's the most telling response to me, however:
Although those who want the law repealed disagree about what Congress should do, they are unified in their unwavering desire for repeal. After being told that about 19 million people would become uninsured if the health care law were to be repealed, only 3 percent are swayed to say they no longer favor repealing the law.
Yes, that's right: 23% of the public still wants to repeal the ACA even when explicitly informed that 19 million people would lose their healthcare coverage.
Who are those 23%? Well, from the partisan breakdown shown earlier, 63% of those who want to repeal the law in general are Republicans. It doesn't take much number-crunching to conclude that virtually all of the Republicans who are calling for repeal fall into this category...even though an awful lot of those 19 million happen to be Republicans themselves.
End Kaiser Report

The 2015 enrollment "Big Chart"


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

COMPLETE 2015 Graph: 32 Million People (Charles Gaba)

ACASignUPs.Net  (Charles Gaba)

The COMPLETE 2015 Graph: 32 Million People, One Image File

Yesterday, the New York Times posted an infographic depicting the breakout of insurance coverage for everyone in the country, based entirely on my data. The grand total of ACA-specific health insurance coverage topped out at around 31.4 million, but left out close to a million people due to rounding and to deliberately leaving out a few items (such as people enrolled in small business coverage via the SHOP exchanges, which I estimate to be around 220,000 people nationally).
Today, I'm posting my own "complete" ACA graph...which will be familiar to anyone who was following this site last year. In 2014 I tried to display every form of ACA coverage on a single graph (exchange QHPs, off-exchange, Medicaid expansion, woodworkers, SHOP...the works). It became too cumbersome for everyday use, so I split Medicaid/CHIP off onto their own graph and simplified the rest.
However, now that every state (except for Idaho) has been updated through at least February 15th, here, once again, is the complete 2015 ACA enrollment graph, showing the rough breakout of all 32.3 million people whose current healthcare coverage is either wholly or partly due specifically to the Affordable Care Act.
Again, that does not mean that all 32.3 million were uninsured to begin with. By my best estimates based on the available data, I estimate that around 19 million already had some form of insurance coverage. Around 11 million were uninsured prior to January 2014, and around another 2 million were uninsured prior to January 2015.
UPDATE: Regarding the "Sub26ers" (19-25 year olds allowed to stay on their parents' policy thanks to the ACA): Many of these are already counted in other categories at this point. Many, however, are included in Employer Sponsored Insurance policies (not listed here). Unfortunately, this number was always very hard to pin down to begin with, and there were some policies in some states which already allowed 19-26ers to stay on their policies even before the ACA. As a result, this year I've completely abandoned trying to even keep track of it. However, they're definitely out there.
I should also note that earlier today I posted a long-term projection which looks at how the rest of 2015 should play out...assuming that the Supreme Court DOESN'T gut tax credits, that is.