Obama Changes Medicare Rules?

If you have read any of my blogs or my newspaper Health Care Weekly Review™ you know I have been both predicting and warning anyone who will listen that health care under ACA will be a financial nightmare. Today in a page 4 article from the New York Times written by Jackie Calmes and Robert Pear the Times, a recognized supporter of Obamacare mentions that Obama may well be entertaining altering Medicare rules. Obama is considering combining Medicare parts A & B to create a single deductible that could increase out-of-pocket for many future beneficiaries but could also pay for a cap on the total expenses and reduce the need to buy Medigap supplementary insurance. This idea first floated by Eric Cantor, the number two House Republican back in a speech in February may provide the basis for other “compromises” on Medicare costs that even the Obama administration recognizes are going to be out of hand under the ACA.

Executive powers pressed

Anita Kuma, Washington bureau reporter for the Star-Telegram wrote an article titled “Obama presses executive power.” The jest of the article is that Obama came into the White House with the idea that he was skeptical of pushing executive power if it appeared to be circumventing Congress. She goes on to say that he has used this questionable power to further his liberal party members goals in the area of the Marriage Act, tamping down the defense department, researching gun violence and delaying deportation of illegal immigrants. AT the same time he has gone ahead with drone launches including killing U.S. citizens overseas who support terrorist activities directed at the U.S.

My take is that Obama welcomes the use of executive powers because it allows him to pursue the agenda he had from the first day he ran for office in Illinois. I also suggest that if congress doesn’t do something to curb Obama’s use of executive powers they the congress will soon become an after thought in the law making process in this country. Even worse for democrats if republicans actually win a presidential election in the future the rules will be cast for the same abuse of executive powers that Obama is practicing.

3/14/13 Health Insurance – Reality

For some time many people have been signaling the warning bell that health insurance under the ACA [Obamacare] will be much more expensive than current costs but no one could estimate those increased costs. Today Tom Murphy writing for the associated press addressed more clearly what the cost results will be in 2014 and beyond.

The nation’s big health insurances say they expect some bills to double. But to whom and where?

On the other hand Mark Bertolini, CEO of Aetna calls the price hikes “premium rate shock.” However on further examination Bertolini points out that “the biggest price hikes are expected to hit a group that represents a relatively small slice of the insured population of roughly 14 million people who buy their own health insurance. “

It seems confusing; in one breath the insurance industry says the rise in health care cost for the nation will be twenty to one hundred percent. On the other hand where and who will be affected is uncertain.

Tom Murphy has identified some key issues that I want to share to get a handle on how much and where will health insurance costs increase;

• Age and gender could cause some premiums to rise as much as 50%
• According to AHIP a new tax on insurance premiums could raise prices as much as 2.3% in 2014 and more in subsequent years.
• More required coverage by the ACA or requiring the insurance policy to pay a greater share of the premiums would raise the cost of premiums.
• HHS says the health care costs for young people and families will come down.

According to Tom Murphy “the impact of some cost hikes will be wide-ranging. The new premium tax, for instance, will affect individual insurance, some employer-sponsored coverage and Medicare Advantage policies.”

My conclusion is that even under the best of circumstances our insurance premiums, if we can even afford them will go up substantially for the middle class and older citizens of this country. There is no verdict yet on the quality of the health care services all of us will receive.