Dems Looking To Push Ocare Fixes

Senate Democrats, especially those up for tough re-election fights, are getting a bit antsy regarding how Ocare affects those chances

(Fox News) Several Democratic senators reportedly plan to introduce as soon as Thursday a set of principles and legislation aimed at fixing parts of ObamaCare amid concerns the law could cost Democrats House seats and possibly the Senate in November.

Sens. Mark Warner, D-Va.; Mark Begich, D-Alaska; Mary Landrieu, D-La.; Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D.; Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.; and Sen. Angus King, I., Maine, will introduce proposals to improve the law, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Begich and Warner have called for allowing “copper” plans on the government-run health exchanges. The new insurance plans would offer lower premiums and higher out-of-pocket costs than the “bronze,” “silver” and “gold” options currently offered.

Can you get more expensive in terms of out of pocket costs/deductibles than the current plans, which carry an average deductible of a bit over $5,000? Not much of a fix, eh? There may be more proposed fixes within the Wall Street Journal article which was the basis for the Fox/AP article, alas, behind the paywall. But, then, Dems, especially the vulnerable ones, have been yapping about fixes for quite some time now, yet never actually submit legislation.

Some Republicans have expressed reservations about helping Democrats improve a law believed to be central to the GOP’s midterm strategy, The Journal reported.

“These folks have voted for that bad piece of legislation [are] now having remorse,” said Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R., Ga., adding that Democrats “want to try to do something political to a very unpopular piece of legislation.”

Typically squishy Republican Jennifer Rubin offers some good points

Democratic pollster Celinda Lake advises Democrats not to bother defending Obamacare. (“Say it was flawed from the beginning, and we’re going to fix it.”) That raises some interesting problems for Democrats.

First, why did they vote for this mess, and why have they been resisting fixing it so far? There is quite a credibility problem for people who jammed through the law based on a host of misrepresentations (keep your doctor, keep your plan, create jobs, etc.). Why entrust these same people to fix it?

More problematic for Democrats is how to describe the needed fixes or even to identify the flaws in the law they all supported. There sure are a lot of problems.

One thing she notes is the inability to sign up young people. And what if the subsidies for the federal marketplace are struck down?

Even more daunting is another legal problem, which has gotten less attention but may be the most troublesome. The New York Times reports: “Two of the three federal judges hearing a challenge to the Affordable Care Act appeared open on Tuesday to the argument that people buying health insurance in the federal marketplace should not be eligible for tax subsidies, the first indication that the White House could be facing another potentially serious legal challenge to a central part of President Obama’s health care law.” We are talking about ending the subsidies for exchanges in 36 states. “Of the 4.2 million people who selected private health plans from October through February, 2.6 million obtained coverage through the federal exchange, and four-fifths of them qualified for subsidies that reduce their premiums. Without subsidies, many would have been unable to afford insurance.” It would be a fitting end for the law that was crammed through, unread and poorly understood by its own supporters:

While everyone has been focused on the “contraception mandate” suits, the subsidy suit is much, much bigger. If Hobby Lobby and the other companies win their suits, at best (or worst for Ocare supporters), this will mean that companies can opt out of providing insurance that has free contraception, sterilization, and abortifacients. It won’t harm the law in the least. And, really, most companies do not care.

Killing the ability to offer subsidies for those who sign up through the federal exchanges would be devastating, and the Democrats would have only themselves to blame. They wrote and voted for the law. And the law states that only those signing up through exchanges “established by the state”, a phrase that appears 7 times in the PPACA, qualify for subsidies. Hey, maybe Democrats should have read the bill, eh?

In fact, when voters tell pollsters that they would  like the law fixed, or liberal pundits insist we should keep it because it is basically working except for some minor glitches, they have no idea what fixes are possible or sustainable, in large part because Democrats won’t fess up as to what they have in mind. Republicans want to “fix it” also – keep the protection for people with preexisting conditions and allow young people to stay on their parents’ policies (something insurance companies will undoubtedly allow so long as there is demand) and change the rest.

Until Democrats actually come forth with legislation it is all yap yap, empty promises to “fix” Ocare in order to get re-elected. And right on time, the Senators offer some yap yap, which includes the “copper level” mentioned above, plus

We are calling to restore startup funds for new consumer-driven health insurance cooperatives, now operating in 23 states. This will allow families to have more options to access health coverage beyond traditional insurance companies, infusing state marketplaces with more competition to reduce average premiums.

In other words, more taxpayer money. Seems as if the pricetag of Ocare keeps going up. Or, they’d like it to go up.

We also propose directing state insurance regulators to develop models for their states to sell health insurance across state lines. These multi-state models will help us discern the benefits and challenges of selling health insurance in this manner, and determine if it is a means to increasing choice and competition among plans—potentially driving down costs while maintaining quality and value.

Wait, I thought Dems said this was Bad? It is also not allowed per federal law, so these Senators would need some, you know, legislation to be passed.

Second, to ease the transition for employers, we want to expand the option for voluntary coverage for employers with fewer than 100 employees, about 98 percent of all businesses. This will enable small and mid-sized businesses to make their own choices for their businesses, and employees can shop for coverage on the individual marketplace.

OK, so ask Team Obama to change this. They continue on with more words and ideas, then get to

But let’s stop trying to score political points by turning up the rhetoric and instead roll up our sleeves and get to work.

OK, fine: where are your legislative proposals? When will you submit legislation? As for the politics, can you smell the fear for their jobs through the power if the Internet?

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10 Responses to “Dems Looking To Push Ocare Fixes”

  1. Jeffery says:

    Heaven forbid trying to improve the system, lol. The Dems are suckers if they think for one minute that Repubs will help them. The Repubs have two central guiding principles: We hate the Dems. We hate people who make less than the median family income. Both of these hates derive from their mission statement: Blowjobs for the wealthy.

  2. gitarcarver says:

    Heaven forbid trying to improve the system, lol.

    Polish a turd, it’s still a turd.

    The Dems are suckers if they think for one minute that Repubs will help them.

    And the reason why anyone should help the Democrats destroy the country is what?

    After that comment, Jeffery goes off on a delusional rant on and how he sees life in the his fantasy land. Is there proof of his accusations? Nope. But that never stops people like Jeffery from lying and projecting their feelings on others.

    Say Jeffery, since you think that the rich are terrible and you say that you are wealthy, are you divesting your wealth? Giving more to the government?

    Didn’t think so.

  3. john says:

    Teach looks like someone has misinformed you about the AVERAGE cost of the deductible under the 4 plans. Why would anyone do that to you? Tsk Tsk.
    The HIGHEST deductible is under the bronze plan it is 5081 dollars The lowest is under the Platinum plan and is 350 dollars
    This is the cost for singles
    For families you should probably look for yourself
    Teach how has the Affordable Care Act impacted you personally ?

  4. gitarcarver says:

    Tsk tsk, John gets it wrong again.

    The average individual deductible for a bronze plan is a whopping $5,081 per year, according to research provided to CBS MoneyWatch from HealthPocket, a technology company that ranks health care plans.

    What’s worse, that represents an increase of 40 percent from the average deductible for an individually purchased plan before the federal health care overhaul, according to The Wall Street Journal.

    Of course, the increase of 40% skips john’s vision as well because an increase of 40% is a decrease in his mind.

    So john, please explain why a plan that was touted to cost $900 billion over 10 years is now projected to cost $2.6 trillion dollars over the same time frame is a good thing?

    Please explain how a plan that Obama and the democrats said would “sell itself and not require advertising” has now spent over $683 million dollars on advertising?

    Just where do you think the money comes from john?

    With the money we are spending on this fiasco we could have insured every uninsured person in the country, plus those who are here illegally and not have faced the upcoming bailouts of the insurance companies as required by the law.

    More than three times the initial costs, increased deductibles and left leaning people are calling the ACA a “good thing.”

    You cannot fix stupid.

  5. gitarcarver says:

    Oh, and there is more money in the system to be had that is wasted. Again, we could have bought insurance for the uninsured without this cluster F*** of a program by the REMF in the White House and his minions.

    We’ve all been told by the Democrats that the government can help lower costs in health care. But when you look at the 4 health care items on the chart (Medicare fee for svc, Medicaid, Medicare part C and D), you are looking at $63.5 billion … that’s with a “b” … dollars a year in “improper payment rates”. Also look at the percentage of error. In the EITC program, 22.7% or 12.6 billion of what they pay out is in error. (Don’t forget, the chart looks only at programs of $750 million or more a year – and we all know there are literally thousands of government programs below that threshold doing the same thing.)

    Add all these up and government is making about $100 billion dollars a year in improper payments. So if anyone wonders why I snort derisively when I hear Congress talk about a $10 billion savings over 10 years (not to mention that usually means not spending as much as they now spend) you can understand why. We’re not bleeding money at a federal level, we’re hemorrhaging it. What in the world is a 10 year $10 billion dollar “savings” worth when government is blowing a trillion dollars in 10 years via waste, fraud and abuse?

    (The chart being referred to is at the post and also can be found here.)

    And in case you missed it, the charge of “the Republicans had no plan” fails because their plan included selling policies across state lines, allowing individuals and small businesses to join together in a group, and to get rid of the waste in the governmental health care programs.

    That plan, which would have had a better effect and cost less was poohpoohed by the Democrats and then, acting as a group of ostriches, was said to never exist.

    In other words, and I know this is a shocker, Democrats and liberals lied about everything concerning the ACA.

  6. Jl says:

    John, John- get up off the floor.

  7. The HIGHEST deductible is under the bronze plan it is 5081 dollars

    Alas, dead wrong. For instance, I look at the deductibles for Wake County, NC. They range from a low of 2,700 for a super base plan, to a high of $6,300. Three others are at $5,500, another is $5,000. So, you’re simply talking out of your ass.

    Furthermore, that’s for a single enrollee. The deductibles for families are much higher. So, you $5,081 figure is dead wrong. As GC pointed out, that is an average for the Bronze deductibles across all the federal exchanges.

    You know what Ocare did for me? Not a blessed thing. Except our deductible went up a hundred bucks. Which could be normal changes. What it did not do is lower my costs as promised.

  8. gitarcarver says:

    What it did not do is lower my costs as promised.

    And it is going to get worse Teach – much worse.

    This year, the rate increases were capped. Those caps go away. Also someone is going to have to pay for the bailouts of the insurance companies. That “someone” is going to be the US taxpayer.

    The other issue sitting in the wings and is it not going to be pretty is the GM mess with ignition switches.

    People that were harmed by the switches before 2009 are not going to be able to sue GM because the bailout / bankruptcy said GM could emerge as a new company. This was and is a violation of the law, but who was going to fight the government on that? (One person did and was told by a judge he couldn’t rule against the government and so the bankruptcy plan went through.)

    So you now have the Obama administration and all the little Democrats who thought bankruptcy laws didn’t apply to the government stuck with the proposition of explaining how they sold out people’s lives for the cost of an ignition switch in a bankruptcy proceeding.

    If the Congress or the President goes back and says “we’ll pay the claims for the switches before 2009,” that will sound great, but that will reinstate claims from other court cases prior to 2009 that GM did not have to pay because of the bankruptcy (which was, once again, contrary to the law.)

    Basically in the cases of the ACA and the GM bailout we see that liberals have no business sense, that they don’t understand the consequences and impacts of the laws they pass, and that the only way they can make those laws work is to ignore them.

  9. This is what happens when you have a group of people, including the President and his advisers, who have little to no real world business experience attempting to pander to the citizens.

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