Archive for the ‘ObamACA’ Category

Don’t faint: I agree with ObamaCare on this one …

March 9, 2017

For the record, I think that ObamaCare is an expensive, amateurish travesty that should be repealed and rebuilt from the ground up by professionals.  Keep the high risk pools for pre-exiting conditions, keep the subsidies for the poor … but lose the  micro-narrow provider networks and the junk mandated into policies (e.g. my favorite: universally free birth control for law schoolers).

And, I think that Dr. Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel – Rahm’s brother and one of the ObamaCare architects – is a complete butt.

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That said, I was on Zeke’s side when he sparred with O’Reilly  …

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Obama: Against mumbo jumbo … say, what?

October 6, 2015

During last Friday’s press conference, President Obama criticized opponents to his policies as having “half-baked ideas” and speaking “mumbo jumbo” …  and, he said that Congress should tighten gun control laws because “the polling says the majority of Americans understand we should be changing these laws “ and “Congress should act on behalf of the majority”  Source

Yesterday, we commented on the majority rule part of the teaching moment …. pointing out that “acting on behalf of the majority” didn’t seem to be important for ObamaCare or the Iran Deal.

Perhaps the President has had a change of heart re: the will of the majority.

Or he, himself, may be spewing some mumbo jumbo.

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Today, let’s dig a little deeper on the basic premise behind his call for action on stricter gun laws:  a majority of Americans favor such a move.

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ACA: More Americans insured, but vast majority are less insured …

September 3, 2015

I’ve  been wrestling with a conundrum ..…

Mainstream media continues to tout the success of ObamaCare … always focusing on the number of previously uninsured folks who now have insurance.

Most recent CBO numbers say that about 19 million previously uninsureds now have insurance – mostly from Medicaid and subsidized ACA Exchange policies.

Now, about 80% of the non-elderly population is covered … but, about 36 million are still uninsured.

Said differently, over half of the previously uninsureds are still uninsured.

Huh?image

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Let’s look at the cost …

ObamaCare added about $100 billion in annual government spending .

So, the cost per newly insured person is roughly $5,000 per newly insured person per year.

That sounds about right since an average individual health insurance policy is about $5,000 per year.

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OK, so what’s the rub?

Some simple arithmetic suggests that the aggregate monetary amount of insurance provided to the full population of non-elderly citizens has actually declined.

Here’s my logic …

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Remember how your healthcare costs were going to go down by $2,500 per family?

August 18, 2015

Recently, a friend casually mentioned to me that his family finances were being strained by healthcare costs.

Why?

His family’s annual deductible had gone up from $2,500 to $12,500.

What?

Think about that for a moment … a 10-grand bump in out-of-pocket healthcare costs before the insurance even kicked in (with co-pays, of course).

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The discussion piqued my curiosity, and I did some digging to put my friend’s predicament in perspective … what I found was surprising (and certainly under-reported in the main stream media)

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Have you even looked at YOUR health insurance premiums?

November 17, 2014

This headline in the NY Times caught my eye:

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The article leads with:

The Obama administration on Friday unveiled data showing that many Americans with health insurance bought under the Affordable Care Act could face substantial price increases next year — in some cases as much as 20 percent.

Now, those are exchange premiums so they don’t apply to me.

Still, the headline was shocking enough to make me take a serious look at the premiums that I pay.

What I discovered is very interesting …

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What would your boss say if your project estimates were off by a factor of 3 or 4?

July 17, 2014

Probable Answer: “You’re fired!”

Not so in ObamaLand …

There, bossman would be ordering pizza for the victory celebration.

Let’s look at the facts …

Flashback to March 2010, when Obamacare was being steam-rolled though Congress.

At that time, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected that Obamacare would cost $938 billion over a decade, that the Federal deficit would shrink and 19 million uninsured people would be insured as of 2014.

As a frame of reference, those estimates work out to be about $5,000 in annual cost per newly insured person … about par for private market medical insurance.

 

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Unfortunately, but predictably, those estimates were wildly off the mark …

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What happens when you cut doctors’ reimbursement rates?

April 24, 2014

Here’s a shocker …

They spend less time seeing patients.

Medscape does an annual hours and pay survey.

For 2013, the Medscape survey said that the average doctor was face-to-face with patients about 41 hours …. with about 2/3s of them in the 40 to 50 hours cluster.

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How does the 41 hours compare to historical rates?

 

 

According to Medscape:

A 2010 study in JAMA found that after no significant change between 1977 and 1997 in the hours per week that physicians spend with patients’

Patient hours decreased steadily from 54.6 to 51.0 between 1997 and 2007.

The study authors attributed the decrease to a parallel 25% inflation-adjusted decline in fees between 1996 and 2006.

Shocker, right? 54.6 to 51 to 41 …

Pay somebody less and they’re less incentivized to bust their humps.

Think about that each time you hear about the Feds and insurance companies ratchet down the reimbursement rates to “fix” the healthcare system,

I’m betting the under on that one.

#HomaFiles

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Red Herring Alert: Don’t focus on the 8 million number … here’s why.

April 22, 2014

I love David Copperfield.

For that matter, I like practically all illusionists.

One trick that illusionists use is to get the audience focused on a decoy … to redirect the audience away from where the “trick” is really happening.

On Wall Street, the decoy is sometimes called a “red herring” …  “something that misleads or distracts from the relevant or important issue.”

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Like a deft illusionist, President Obama now has the country focused on the 8 million folks who have signed-up on the ObamaCare Exchanges.

This decoy fell into Obama’s hands when the web site crashed and Republicans, started spotlighting the number – assuming that it would be a clear indicator to the country that ObamaCare failed.

Bingo: GOP gets everybody focused on the 7 million number ,,,, Obama hits the Ferns … sign-ups blow past 8 million … GOP loses its talking point … Obama takes a victory lap.

Not so fast.

Guess what?

The 8 million number is a red herring – plain & simple.

Here’s what we should all be focusing on …

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Number Games: “The latest cost estimate is 15% lower than the prior estimate”

April 21, 2014

Say, what?

During last Thursday’s impromptu press conference, President Obama ballyhooed that the OC Exchanges had passed 8 million sign-ups (whatever the heck a “sign-up” is) … and that the CBO’s “latest estimate” says the ObamaCare “costs are down 15% from the prior estimate”.

Oh, really?

My BS detector auto-starts when I hear well-parsed, weasely words like those.

Wonder when the latest estimate was made?  What were the assumptions?  How does it tie to the miracle of 8 million?

 

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So, I took  a  moment to dissect that statement … the digging didn’t disappoint

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Don’t faint: I agree with ObamaCare on this one …

March 6, 2014

For the record, I think that ObamaCare is an expensive, amateurish travesty that should be repealed and rebuilt from the ground up by professionals.  Keep the high risk pools for pre-exiting conditions, keep the subsidies for the poor … but lose the  micro-narrow provider networks and the junk mandated into policies (e.g. my favorite: universally free birth control for law schoolers).

And, I think that Dr. Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel – Rahm’s brother and one of the ObamaCare architects – is a complete butt.

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That said, I was on Zeke’s side when he sparred with O’Reilly this week …

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Is 20 million a big number or a little number?

February 3, 2014

When 5 or 6 million folks who like their health insurance, lost their health insurance … the Administration pooh-poohed the number as a “small sliver”.

Hmmm.

Let’s try another angle …

The Kaiser Family Foundation reports that 1 in 10 Americans think that ObamaCare has impacted them directly.

That’s about 30 million folks

 

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And, was the impact good or bad?

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“Nobody wants ObamaCare re-litigated” … say, what?

January 31, 2014

I always roll my eyes when the President declares that ObamaCare is the law of the land and nobody wants to re-litigate it..

I hate to resort to facts, but, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a majority of the country now views the law unfavorably .. only 34% view it favorably.

The trend isn’t good for the President’s claim.

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And, remember the uninsureds – the folks that ObamaCare was designed to help?

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Targeted? … “Lose” your card !

December 24, 2013

As loyal readers know, I take this identity theft stuff pretty seriously, having been hacked a couple of times in the pass few years.

We rarely shop at Target.

Nothing against the place, just no reason to shop there.

So, wouldn’t you know it … a rare shopping trip to Target during the recent hacking of all credit & debit card numbers.

Ouch.

 

 

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Here are a couple of observations and some advice …

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Sell side bias, the "developer’s curse" … and ObamaCare.

December 15, 2013

President Obama is clearly perplexed on why the dogs aren’t eating the ObamaCare food.

He’s trying to give people a better “product” … and they just don’t get it.

What the heck is going on?

Well, shoving the roll-out snafus aside, much of the answer lies in good old behavioral economics.

Last week we talked “loss aversion” and the “endowment effect”.

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Today, let’s look at the “developers curse” …

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Loss aversion, the endowment effect … , and ObamaCare.

December 10, 2013

President Obama is clearly perplexed on why the dogs aren’t eating the ObamaCare food.

He’s trying to give people a better “product” … and they just don’t get it.

What the heck is going on?

Well, shoving the roll-out snafus aside, much of the answer lies in good old behavioral economics.

 

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Let me explain …

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Nums: Familiarity breeds contempt … or, at least disapproval.

December 5, 2013

Some interesting nums from Gallup

Based on recent polling, about 1 in 3 Americans are “not familiar” with ObamaCare-ACA.

Thefolks who are least likely to be familiar with the law are youngsters and DEMOCRATS … i.e. Obama’s prime constituency.

Go figure

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And, digging deeper, the numbers get even more interesting …

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Name game: Is rebranding ObamaCare the administration’s silver bullet?

December 4, 2013

A couple of weeks ago, the Administration decided that ObamaCare need to be rebranded and remarketed since, in the words of CNN: “The name Obamacare – and the much maligned URL HealthCare.gov – have become associated with digital failure and government disorganization.”

Ouch.

In my post Rebranding ObamaCare …  I suggested a new name: ObamACA™  … hoping that the name would catch traction and I could bag some royalties.

No such luck (so far).

Still, as a recovering marketer, I’m interested in the question: Would it help the administration sell the law if they ditched the ObamaCare name.

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Source: Kaiser Health Foundation

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Well, it turns out that Gallup has already polled on the question …

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Let’s play “find a glitch” …

December 2, 2013

As a recovering IT guy, I couldn’t resist.

Sunday morning I linked to HealthCare.gov …. mostly, I just wanted to see if the site was up & alive.

The landing page populated quickly.

So, I decided to play the “find a glitch” game … the kinda thing I’d do when IT teams would come to demo a new system for me.

It took less than 5 seconds … and I didn’t have to leave the home page

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Here’s what I did.

I certainly didn’t want to apply for anything, so I just ran the cursor over the “See plans in your area” section of the landing page.

Note that the cursor turned into a hand, indicating a live hyperlink.

I clicked and nothing happened,

Clicked again, nothing happened.

Then I clicked the “See plans now” and got linked to a process for taking a peek at plans.

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In tech terms, the hyperlink “hotspot” is wrong … either the apparent link where I originally clicked should be removed … or a single hotspot should extend over the entire “See plans” wording.

OK, I concede that this is a minor glitch.

But, it’s like the drill sergeant checking the back of shoes during inspections – figuring that if the backs are polished, so are the fronts.

Makes me wonder: Is anybody really testing this stuff?

I warn students: Make sure that the first slide in your pitch is error free – no typos, no arithmetic errors, etc. – otherwise, your credibility gets tarnished right out of the blocks.

That applies to web site landing pages, too.

I wonder how many folks will click like I did and conclude that they still can’t shop plans without registering?

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Update

Apparently the glitch was fixed overnite … there is a revised landing page this morning.

healthcare gov update

Which raises another question: how will site returnees react when the sit looks different each time they visit?

Gotta cause some folks some angst re: security issues.

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Gotcha: Even the NYT admits that ObamaCare has losers, too …

November 27, 2013

Man, even I want to stop dwelling on ObamaCare  (or as I like to call it, ObamACA™ )

But , it’s a gift to bloggers that keeps on giving … and, this is BIG !

Last Saturday, the NY Times published an argument defining article titled; Don’t Dare Call the Health Law ‘Redistribution’

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I assumed that it would be a typical NYT pro-Obama pitch about how ObamaCare wasn’t a redistribution of wealth … that it was simply a well-intended effort to improve the wasn’t a redistribution of wealth … that it was simply a well-intended effort to improve the health care system by providing universal insurance coverage.

To the contrary.

The article put in black & white the “truth” that, at it’s core, ObamaCare is a wealth distribution scheme with both winners and losers.

OMG, they said it.

Not “like it, keep it with lower premiums” but “winners & losers”

Here are the killer quotes ….

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Rebranding ObamaCare …

November 26, 2013

After a couple of years of his saying that he liked the name ObamaCare … since he’s Obama and he cares …  the President has indicated that he thinks that ObamaCare ––  which is now being lumped with brands like Edsel and New Coke – needs to be rebranded and remarketed.

As a recovering marketer who is always willing to lend a hand, here’s my re-branding nomination:

ObamACA tm

Pronounced “Obama – ka.”

A clever twist, right?

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P.S. Note the trademark TM  above my nominated brand name … I’m hereby establishing what the IP attorneys call a “first use” to claim the rights to the name.

Maybe I can make some dough off this mess … to help defray my new, higher health insurance premiums.

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