Author Archives: the HSA king

About the HSA king

C. Dean Richard is an insurance broker and financial planner.

Obamacare Announces Yet Another Delay

After delaying Medicare cuts until after the election and then delaying the employer mandate, followed by delayed enforcement of a number of key eligibility requirements for the law’s health insurance subsidies, now comes word that another costly provision of the health law—its caps on out-of-pocket insurance costs—will be delayed for one more year.

Limits on out of pocket costs are good and bad for the consumer.  They are good in terms of limiting exposure to large expenses, but they also add premium cost to the plan – a LOT.

The administration is finally figuring out what the insurance industry has known for decades – you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

There are costs associated with all of these great benefits that Obama, Pelosi, Reid and other Democrats seem to think we can’t live without.  Money doesn’t grow on trees.  Policyholders are the ones who fund insurance contracts.  Those dollars don’t grow on trees, and every time you mandate more benefits, someone has to pay for those benefits, and that’s the policyholders.

Make that, the taxpayers.

Why the Democrats couldn’t see this coming is beyond belief.  They just had to rush something into legislation – anything, in order to claim a legislative victory.

Well, they got it.  And now we’re all going to pay for it.

Later, rather than sooner, apparently, as delay has become the name of the game in Washington.

Imagine that.

 

Obamacare as the Latest Backstop in the Debt Limit Debate

Growing numbers of Republicans in Congress are setting their sights on Obamacare as a new target in looming fiscal showdowns this autumn over government funding and the debt limit.

Several Republicans are pledging to oppose a stopgap government spending Bill that will be needed by October 1 unless it withholds funds from the implementation of ACA, especially its core requirement that uninsured Americans obtain health coverage.

Blockage of the funding measure could lead to a shutdown of government agencies, roiling financial markets.

The latest effort to use the Budget to undermine the ACA comes during a new Republican assault on the law after a recent decision by the White House to delay for a year a key requirement that larger employers offer health coverage.

The administration is pressing ahead with the individual mandate and the October 1 launch of online health insurance Exchanges, which is only adding to the anxiety.

Republican Senator Marco Rubio implored his Senate colleagues to use the widely expected short-term spending bill, known as a continuing resolution, to “put the brakes on this terrible mistake.”

“Don’t come here and say, ‘I’m against Obamacare’ if you’re willing to vote for a budget that funds it. If you pay for it, you own it,” said Rubio, who was elected in Florida in 2010 during a wave of negative sentiment toward the health reforms.

A fellow Republican, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, also capitalized on the latest flare-up of Republican anger at the healthcare reforms by introducing legislation to de-fund them permanently. He likely will seek to move the measure as an amendment to the funding Bill.

DISCUSSIONS ON DEFUNDING

Although Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is one of 17 co-sponsors for Cruz’s Bill, he has not weighed in on the specific merits of holding hostage government agencies or the debt limit increase over healthcare funding.

“Republicans will absolutely have a discussion about defunding Obamacare this fall. They are still discussing how to go about that,” said a senior Senate Republican aide.

In the House, there is little consensus among Republicans over what to demand from Obama and his Democrats in exchange for a short-term funding Bill and an increase in the $16.7 trillion debt limit, which will likely be needed in November.

While much of the discussion has surrounded tax reform and cuts to the Medicare and Social Security benefits programs for the elderly, Obamacare funding is quickly gaining prominence in the list of demands.

“There’s a growing group in the House that is retraining its focus to Obamacare,” said Representative Mick Mulvaney, a conservative Republican from South Carolina.

“It is completely appropriate to use the debt ceiling or the CR to ask for some changes that reduce the burdens of this law on Americans,” he said.

Representative Steny Hoyer, the No. 2 Democrat in the House, vowed to fight efforts by Republicans to stall Obamacare, saying: “Health reform is working. It is the law of our land, and Democrats will continue to make sure that the clock is not turned back.”

Easy enough to say for a guy who has been handed free Government benefits for years.

More Broken Obamacare Promises – Healthcare Costs Rising at an Alarming Pace

Too bad Nancy Pelosi could not have taken the time to actually look inside the 2000+ pages of the Obamacare law to see what little goodies were stashed away in the Pandora’s box Congress created.

On the outside of the box was a gift-wrapped promise:  Lower healthcare costs for everyone.

As reality sets in, however, few people are happy.

In reality, healthcare costs are rising at an alarming rate – and we’re only a few months into this monster.  The really big increases have only begun to percolate.

In other words, if you think health insurance is expensive now, just wait a few months.  Maybe a couple of years.

As this article from Stateline indicates, premiums have jumped an average of 16% already, and as much as 30% (or more) in some areas.

There is no shortage of theories for how to solve this little problem; indeed, please reference the Stateline article for some rather keen insights.

Here’s my take – as a broker with over 30 years experience.

It’s simple:  Stop blaming the insurance companies.

They only pay the bills.  It’s the bills we have to get our fists around.

The insurance premiums reflect the actual expenses paid by insurers, plus a small profit.  As a result of Obamacare, administrative costs, including profits, are capped – by law. Also check out Pharma Watch Dog to see if you or a relative are a victim of risperdal side effects.

So why are states bothering with trying to force insurers to keep rate increases down? At the end of the day, if rate increases are too high, insurers will be forced to rebate consumers.

Have the regulators missed that little tidbit?

Stop blaming the insurance companies.  Repeal this monstrosity and let’s sit down like grown adults and figure out a more viable long term solution to this nightmare.