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Poll: How Is Obamacare ‘Treating’ You So Far?

Posted by Larry Doyle on October 4, 2013 7:16 AM |

Well, with Uncle Sam not open for business again today, we can forget about the monthly employment report that is released the first Friday of every month.

But let’s redirect our focus for the moment. The roll out of Obamacare this week has generated a slew of reports from both ends of the political spectrum and their respective media accomplices. What is to be believed?

Is the inability to access the healthcare websites in many states a function of overwhelming interest by people looking to sign up or an inoperable system that is just another example of a dysfunctional government run wild?

Rather than resorting to what we are told to believe by those who have agendas that might not be in sync with your personal situations and interests, let’s turn down the volume on the noise emanating across the country on this hot button topic.

Instead of listening to pundits paid to spread their views if not their disinformation, please share with us how you and your family are impacted by Obamacare.

Are you able to maintain your health plans?

What about your premiums?

Are you joining an exchange? If so, because you want to? Have to?

What do you hear from your friends and colleagues?

Comments and feedback encouraged and appreciated.

Larry Doyle

Please pre-order a copy of my book, In Bed with Wall Street: The Conspiracy Crippling Our Global Economy, that will be published by Palgrave Macmillan on January 7, 2014.

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I have no business interest with any entity referenced in this commentary. The opinions expressed are my own. I am a proponent of real transparency within our markets so that investor confidence and investor protection can be achieved.

  • Peter Scannell

    I happen to have RomneyCare up here in MA – it took a little while to get the kinks out in the beginning, but it is working as well now.

    It’s all in the name I guess.

  • Always Learning

    My husband and I are self-employed and have been buying health care insurance for our family through Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield for the past 3 years. In early September, we received a letter from Anthem stating, “You will be required to move into an Affordable Care Act compliant plan by the end of the year. . . . Later in September, we’ll have a new Anthem plan for your consideration that complies with the health care law.” So much for the President’s campaign promise, “If you like your plan, you can keep it.”

    We just received our new Anthem plan choices. The least expensive option increases our monthly premium by $712, and also increases our annual deductible by $1,300. The same goes for all other plans offered to us on the exchange in our state. The least expensive bronze level plans offered by the three providers in our state increase our monthly premium by at least $700.

  • Jack

    There is a reason why BO is smiling and I’m feeling very sore.

  • Ray

    $567/mo more for bronze plan. Agent couldn’t even tell me what is covered and what is not.

  • Bill

    While our benevolent, caring government markets socialized medicine as a benefit, it’s in fact an additional TAX.

    Few know the historical implementation of Social Security was ‘marketed’ (forced upon) the people as a “trust fund” when, in fact, all forced participation taxes went into the federal government’s general revenue fund, and still does.

    Social Security was a big lie right from the git-go & Obamacare is just building on the same fraud. Republicans just let it go by, preferring to dawdle on the mechanics of the heist, ignoring the greater felony and perpetuating the status quo of the privileged. And Americans blissfully move on with the belief their government is ‘looking after their best welfare’.

    Americans Lose Again: Obamacare is a Tax Not a Benefit

  • Dumped

    Obamacare Sickens American Workers

    Democrats landed on Earth to nurture working Americans. How ironic, then, that Obamacare is hammering U.S. laborers. From terminated coverage to truncated schedules, the Democrats’ reputed constituency is paying dearly for Obama’s massive, $2.6 trillion health-care “reform.”

    “If you like your health-care plan, you will be able to keep your health-care plan. Period,” Obama infamously claimed while peddling the so-called Affordable Care Act (ACA). “No one will take it away. No matter what.” These words will trail Obama for life, just as “Read my lips: No new taxes” will mock Daddy Bush forever.

    Companies — major and minor — have dropped workers from their health plans and dumped them onto Obamacare’s exchanges, which sputtered to life on Tuesday.

    • As The Weekly Standard’s Ben Schachter reports, the insurer for the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, the Dramatists Guild, and the Graphic Arts Guild announced: “All individual and/or Sole Proprietor Health Insurance will terminate January 1, 2014.”

    • “Provisions of the federal Affordable Care Act are projected to add $7.3 million to the cost of the University [of Virginia] health plan in 2014 alone,” UVA Today reported. “Starting Jan. 1, spouses who have access to coverage through their own employer will no longer be eligible for coverage under U.Va.’s plan.”

    • The 81-store Wegmans grocery chain will stop insuring employees who work between 20 and 30 hours per week.

    • Trader Joe’s CEO Dan Bane stated that employees who work fewer than 30 hours per week will receive a stipend and best wishes next year as they enter Obamacare’s exchanges. “We believe that with the $500 from Trader Joe’s and the tax credits available under the ACA,” Bane wrote his staffers, “many of you should be able to obtain health care coverage at very little if any net cost to you.”

    • To save some $60 million annually, UPS will stop covering 15,000 spouses of non-union employees with access to insurance elsewhere. Higher medical expenses, “combined with the costs associated with the Affordable Care Act, have made it increasingly difficult to continue providing the same level of health care benefits to our employees at an affordable cost,” a UPS memo explained.

    In a Market Watch article titled “Why your boss is dumping your wife,” Jen Wieczner observes: “Next year, 12 percent of employers plan to exclude spouses, up from 4 percent this year, according to a recent Towers Watson survey.” Ball State University and pump-maker Flowserve are among those now hurling spouses overboard.

    • Home Depot will subject some 20,000 part-timers to Obamacare. As spokesman Stephen Holmes told The Daily Caller, “Unfortunately, the ACA precludes us from offering the limited liability medical plan we’ve been offering the part-time associates.”

    “Obamacare is going to kill off small business,” Home Depot founder Bernie Marcus warned last April. “Obamacare is the capper. That’s the bullet to the temple.”

    • Securitas, America’s largest supplier of security guards, will ditch its low-cost coverage and direct 55,000 of its employees into Obamacare.

    • Roughly 160,000 Walgreens drug-store employees will be driven into private-insurance exchanges.

    Just like the stereotype of a banker-loving, secretary-hating greedy Republican, Obama postponed the employer mandate until 2015 while leaving the individual mandate intact. This has been good news in corporate boardrooms and bad news in company lunchrooms. In the New York Post, Cato Institute senior fellow Michael Tanner captured the immoral absurdity of Obama’s sop to the 1 percent: “Workers may now face a situation where they’ll be legally required to buy their own insurance or pay a penalty because their employers take advantage of the delay and don’t provide coverage.”

    “We are hearing from our members who are concerned about what is happening with their companies,” Janna Pea of America’s Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union told The Guardian, London’s leading left-wing daily. “Not only are they looking at having their health-care coverage cut, they are also looking at less hours.”

    Indeed, Investor’s Business Daily’s Jed Graham documents 313 employers who have cut workers’ hours, outsourced their positions, or simply eliminated them outright. So far — because assigning staffers to 30 or fewer hours spares employers from new penalties for not providing insurance — at least 30,377 Americans are working shorter shifts (if any), thanks to Obamacare.

    IBD’s excellent coverage of this tragic trend, by definition, includes only cutbacks that generate headlines.

    “No such list would be really ‘complete,’ because the information likely would have to be carried in the news for anyone to know about it,” explains health-policy scholar Merrill Matthews of the Institute for Policy Innovation in Dallas. “For example, a teller at a local branch of Bank of America told me that she was looking for another job about a month ago. When I asked why, she said that all of the full-time tellers were being switched to part time. I said, ‘Don’t tell me; let me guess — to under 30 hours?’”

    “‘Yep,’ she said. She was too old (over 50) to have to work two part-time jobs. And no one will know about that because it isn’t in the news.”

    So, Obama’s original lies notwithstanding, if you like your health plan, Obamacare can crush it. And if you like your full-time job, Obamacare can turn you into a part-timer — or just unemploy you.

    Obamacare swiftly is becoming the biggest bait-and-switch in American history.

    • Always Learning

      Companies — major and minor — have dropped workers from their health plans and dumped them onto Obamacare’s exchanges, which sputtered to life on Tuesday.

      So, workers whose employers have dropped them from their health plans must now buy insurance on the exchanges. Congress and their staffers are doing the same, EXCEPT they are getting taxpayer subsidies to make up for the higher premiums they will be paying on the exchanges. Oh, and another thing . . . Congress and their staffers have been told they must select a plan at the Gold Level. Why not go for the gold when someone else is paying for it?

      Congress, staff required to buy gold ObamaCare plans

      Regulations issued by the Obama administration this week would require members of Congress to buy one of the top-tier insurance plans from the ObamaCare exchanges.

      The Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) of the House sent guidance to members of Congress this week, based on a directive from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), that says they must choose plans from the “gold” level of insurance coverage, not “bronze” or “silver” plans. “Platinum” is the only higher level of coverage under the exchanges. . . .

      Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) called attention to this requirement in a House floor speech Thursday, in which he said the policy shows more favoritism toward members of Congress and their staff.

      “You see, bronze and silver’s only good enough for everyone else in the country. For members of Congress and members of the Senate and their staff, it’s gold or nothing.”

  • LD

    In what can only be the providential hand of an almighty God with a great sense of humor… or someone in the government with a taste for accurate phone numbers, the Obamacare helpline is incredibly easy to remember.

    “Far from being a mistype, that’s the official number that Health and Human Services wants Americans to dial when seeking health care. Obamacare’s national call center really did list its number as 1-800-318-2596, helpfully spelling out President Barack Obama’s tendency to blatantly flip the bird in plain view.”

    By now, you’ve searched for a traditional American phone keypad and noticed that the 1-800 number spells out 1-800- FUCKYO (the 1 doesn’t stand for any letter). I’m not sure that a more accurate assessment of the Obamacare legislative process could be purposely invented.

    Need Healthcare: Dial 1-800 Fu%$#*YO

  • Matt

    This is beginning to worry me–on October 1st. I tried to sign-up for access to the marketplace in New York State. I will qualify for Medicare next year, but due to a pre-existing condition (severe arthritis) any individual policies I could qualify for as a 64 year old with this condition carries stratospheric premiums.
    It is now October 4th. and, after numerous site crashes, I finally got to end of my “certification approval” stage and the site has now crashed again. I logged-in again and now I am being ask to “Build My Household” which was the second stage of the entire process. I am about ready to wash my hands of this and remain uninsured until next year when Medicare kicks in.
    Both the Feds and New York State have had 3 years to get this right, and this is the result. How much has been spent on government employees’ salaries and outside consultants fees to provide a “robust” platform for this program? And these are the people I am asked to believe will keep my financial and medical information secure from hackers?
    If the IT department in my former business had been run like this, two things would have happened 1) they would been fired en masse, from management on down and 2) our customers would have taken to the hills. These clowns have made the DMV a model of efficiency which is little short of a miracle!
    What a clown show!

  • Peter Watts

    Larry forgive me commenting upon a recent event in your country which you have not touched upon in your blog. A lady, with a young child in her car, who, so we are informed, had no firearm, drove her car in a reckless and threatening fashion in DC. The boys in blue had an opportunity to shoot out the tyres (tires) in the car but did not do so!! When she was cornered the boys in blue shot and killed the women albeit that she posed no apparent threat to them. If the forces of law and order are allowed to use unreasonable force against an unarmed member of the public, is it any wonder every Tom, Dick & Harriet in your country seeks (with almost unlimited access to firearms) to right perceived wrongs by gunning down innocent bystanders.

    • LD


      My better half made this exact point to me yesterday. The media talk about the Capitol Shooting. There was no shooting other than the shots fired by the police killing this woman who from all reports was mentally ill.

      Thanks you for raising this issue. Our country has very real issues and the manner in which they are reported strikes me as more part of the problem than part of the answer.

      Good grief indeed but again testament to the fact that we have weak leadership across the board.

      • Ray

        The foreign press is questioning the shooting. Nothing from ours – very unfortunate that the MSM is controlled by a few in the western world and tows the party line.

        To get real news here, you have to check out the foreign news networks.

        We no longer have any investigative news.

  • Jake

    Who wouldn’t like shopping for health insurance with other peoples money, unless you don’t qualify for any help than I guess you’re paying for it all.

  • Tim Favero

    Our company has not started open enrollment for 2014 yet, but they have sent out three (3) “informational” emails in regards to changes to our coverage. We used to be able to have three choices: Two HMO’s and one PPO. We have already been told that there will be only one provider this year, and that that costs for individuals with the minimum selections will be raised by at least 22% up to 73%, with higher deductibles and co-pays, and that family rates will be up a minimum of 37% to 98% with higher deductibles and co-pays. But, the good news is that the highest out of pocket will be no more than $20,000 per family. That is something everyone is looking forward to.

  • lizzy s

    I expect that as people realize the outrageous premium costs, the high co-pays and the massive deductables there will be a complete revolt against Obamacare (with cosmic irony) called The Affordable Care Act. I read the prices quoted and went into sticker shock. People will be demanding complete repeal and telling both Boehner and Cruz to keep the government shut down until it is gone.

  • Justsayno

    Point blank. There were issues that needed to be fixed. These issues should have been handled by fortifying the high risk pools for pre-ex conditions that wouldn’t be covered. Also, a tax on current policies or tax on income added to 1040 to provide funds to fortify the states current county health dept. offices. These funds could have even mandated to use for emergent care faciliites for those on Medicaid. There were lots of fixes possible, in fact the entire issue should have been a line item in a 1040.

    My plan will migrate through kaiser, kid actually has an Aetna grandfathered plan. My plan will increase 33%. Husbands going up too. Not planning on going on exchange. Taking this subsidy is admitting I support obamacare. I didn’t ask for this, it was forced upon me.

    If you need any help on your individual plan, reach out to a health broker or agent. These are professional people whose voice and incomes have severely been hampered by this law. They are expected to know health insurance to earn a living and also hold errors and omissions insurance.

  • retro

    My husband’s individual premium (he is self-employed) is going up $150 a month. I have tried twice to complete the enrollment for myself and my college kids, most recently today. The website now thinks I have four kids instead of two. I tried to go back and it keeps asking me the same questions then the system goes down. I am unable to submit an application. I give up.

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