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Be careful what you wish for

September 8, 2013

To the editor: This letter is directed at all of those who know and understand what Obamacare is: the budget vote is coming up on Sept....

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Sep-08-13 6:48 PM


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Sep-09-13 2:33 PM

This from a site explaining the ACA (with citations) "…No part of the bill says anything about appointing people to decide whether or not someone dies. The decision over whether or not your claim is approved is still in the hands of your insurer. However, now there's an appeals process so if your claim gets turned down, you can challenge that. And the government watches that appeals process to make sure it's not being unfair to customers. So if anything the PPACA is trying to stop the death panels. (Citation: Page 42, sec. 2719)"

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Sep-09-13 2:34 PM

And this: "The Independent Medicare Advisory Board (which has had its name changed to Independent Payment Advisory Board, or IPAB) is intended to give recommendations on how to save Medicare costs per person, deliver more efficient and effective care, improve access to services, and eliminate waste. However, they have no real power. They put together a recommendation to put before Congress, and Congress votes on it, and the President has power to veto it. What's more, they are specifically told that their recommendation will not ration health care, raise premiums or co-pays, restrict benefits, or restrict eligibility. In other words, they need to find ways to save money without reducing care for patients. (Citation: Page 426, sec. 3403)"

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Sep-10-13 7:27 AM

Rob, thanks for the letter. Unfortunately, those who dont get it - never will. And those who blindly follow - always will.

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Sep-10-13 7:55 AM

In regards to congressional exemption: Entirely false. Political scientist Norman Ornstein, a long-time observer of Congress and a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, debunked the claim of congressional exemption in a piece he wrote for the Washington newspaper Roll Call. "On the assertion that Members of Congress are exempt from the provisions of the Affordable Care Act: also false," he wrote. "Members of Congress are subject under the health care reform law to the same mandate that others are to purchase insurance, and their plans must have the same minimum standards of benefits that other insurance plans will have to meet. Members of Congress currently have not a gold-plated free plan but the same insurance options that most other federal employees have, and they do not have it provided for free.

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Sep-10-13 8:03 AM

Exemptions: (continued) They have a generous subsidy for their premiums, but no more generous (and compared to many businesses or professions less generous) than standard employer-provided subsidies throughout the country." The reason: Passage of the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995. It specifically made sure a variety of laws dealing with civil rights, labor and workplace safety regulations applied to the legislative branch of government. The independent Office of Compliance was set up to enforce the laws in Congress. Ornstein, who has been sharply critical said it is "not surprising that, in tough times, Americans would be inclined to believe the absolute worst about their elected officials. "But at least," he added, "let the criticism be fair and based on facts instead of persistent urban legends."

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Sep-11-13 6:37 AM

@Bknees Obamacare aka ACA will ruin the work work for middle class which will bring our system to it's knees. Employers have already started reducing employees work hours to ensure their part-time status. Many other employers have been very vocal with their intent to do the very same thing all in an effort to avoid paying any penalties. What this means for the middle class worker is they'll be stuck working two part-time jobs in order to make the same amount of money all while still not being offered insurance through their employer due to their "part-time" status. As a result of not being considered a full-time employee middle class workers will have to pay the IRS a penalty because of their employers choice to reduce work hours per week. Every American not only deserves affordable health insurance but everyone wants health insurance. Instead of imposing high penalties on blue-collar Americans why not impose penalties on Healthcare providers should they overcharge for medi

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Sep-11-13 8:35 AM

Question: Can't businesses just fire employees or make them work part-time to get around this requirement? Answer: Yes and no. Switching to part-time only won't help to get out of the requirement, as the ACA counts the hours worked, not the number of full-time employees you have. If your employees worked an equivalent of 50 full-time employees' hours, the requirement kicks in. Really, the only plausible way a business could reasonably utilize this strategy is if they currently operate with just over the 50-employee number, and could still operate with under 50 employees, and have no intention to expand. (Cont.)

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Sep-11-13 8:37 AM

Answer: (continued) Having said that, the ACA only requires employers to offer insurance to full-time employees, so theoretically they could get out of this by reducing all employees to 29 hrs or fewer a week. However, if any employees' hours go above that, their employer will have to provide insurance or pay the penalty. Also, this is putting aside how an employer only offering part-time work with no insurance will affect how competitive they are on the job market, especially when small businesses with 25 or fewer employees actually get a tax credit to help pay for insurance if they choose to get it (though they are not required to provide insurance).

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Sep-12-13 8:18 AM

@Bknees Are you aware of the financial strain imposed upon small businesses in today's economy? It's extremely hard, especially around here, to maintain a decent profit margin when almost half of all proceeds go to one tax or another and then in addition to that you have your general costs, worker's comp, insurance, etc. Many employers have already reduced employees work hours and those employers who are under the limit won't expand their business because of the additional costs. All politicians need to do is stop bickering back and forth and let each state mandate standard pricing guidelines that all Healthcare professionals must go by. Insurance companies are stuck having to charge ridiculous rates in order to pay for the ridiculous out of control pricing Hospitals and other Healthcare professionals charge. At one time I did not have insurance so naturally I went through itemized lists of what I was being charged. Pricing is out of control. I understand Hospitals

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Sep-12-13 8:24 AM

Rsimpson43952 some people are just gullible and believe everything that they read from the Daily Kos or Move-on. BK Knees has been trolling another message board trying to get this propaganda out there.

BK the people just won't believe the Kenyan in Chief and his minions. They are overwhelming opposed to obunglercare and anything that he proposes.. Look what happened these last few weeks with Syria. The people just don't believe obungler he has lied to many times.

Employers will just make sure they don't have 50 employees no matter how they are counted. Forcing more people into the state insurance communes and raising taxes and increasing the debt. where they will have to wait months to see a doctor and face the death panels.

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Sep-12-13 8:25 AM

@BKnees and other Healthcare providers are a business and aim to make a profit however their level of greed is over the top. I blame the situation we're in now on their greed. It doesn't cost them over $100,000 to perform regular surgeries. It doesn't cost them thousands of dollars to take an x-ray yet that's what we're charged. The gap between cost and pricing needs to close considerably. Once this happens watch insurance rates fall. Each state can mandate their own pricing guidelines. Everyone wants to have insurance they just can't afford to pay for it, that's the reality of our situation in America. So making us pay a penalty for not having insurance is nothing more than pouring salt on an open wound. If we truly want to correct this problem them we take care of pricing. I had a severe case of bronchitis and ended up in the emergency room, they performed no standard tests. The doctor simply listened to my lungs and prescribed me antibiotics and cough syrup, absolutely nothing els

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Sep-12-13 8:28 AM

@Bknees I was charged almost $500 for this Er visit. I went in because I was having a very hard time breathing and needed the antibiotic. It didn't cost the Hospital anywhere near $500 to have a doctor come in for less than 5 minutes and write a prescription for an antibiotic and cough syrup. Hospitals and other Healthcare providers are taking advantage of Americans. They do this for one reason only and that's because it is our health and they know we'll pay it. It's not moral or ethical, it's downright disgusting and hospitals ought to be ashamed of themselves.

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Sep-12-13 8:45 AM

@Moteman The backbone of our economy is small businesses. I'm not an economics expert and know this much, it's common sense really. Why they're willing to destroy small business is beyond me. The truth is our medical system needs fixed in general. Each year in the US, as Dr. Barbara Starfield(Johns Hopkins School of Public Health) published “Is US health really the best in the world?” in the Journal of the American Medical Association on July 26, 2000 there are: 12,000 deaths from unnecessary surgeries; 7,000 deaths from medication errors in hospitals; 20,000 deaths from other errors in hospitals; 80,000 deaths from infections acquired in hospitals; 106,000 deaths from FDA-approved correctly prescribed medicines. The total of medically-caused deaths in the US every year is 225,000. This makes the medical system the third leading cause of death in America, behind heart disease and cancer.

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Sep-12-13 12:37 PM

Mr. Moteman, My personal policy is not to get into a childish tete-a-tete on public forums. However, in light of your blatantly false comment about me("BK Knees has been trolling another message board trying to get this propaganda out there."), I find I must set the record straight. For anyone that is interested and would like to verify the facts, I did start a new thread on TorontoInFocus regarding the Affordable Care Act. I expressly requested and am insisting on polite, responsible give-and-take only. To date there have only been 2 other commenters. I have only offered my own opinions and feelings regarding the Act and how it may impact me. That is not "trolling" or pushing "propaganda" by any definition of the word. For you, Mr. Moteman to purposely try to defame me here, by saying so, says a lot about you, your values and your tactics. I hope people take that into consideration when reading your comments here. I do. bK

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Sep-12-13 1:49 PM

BK as soon as someone answered you with an opposing view you attacked that person claiming he was impolite and not willing to discuss the issue with you because he didn't agree with you. That is TROLLING.

If you are the person we believe you to be then you have been deleted from this forum under several different names. Obunglercare is a disaster and everyone especially the proponents that wanted now want to opt out. Piglosie pushed it and now she has a waiver and does not have to participate.

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Sep-12-13 3:20 PM

Obama is hoping that employers do exactly what is happening. when the State exchanges can not pay for the insurance The far left loonies will push for single payer. With over 70% of the people not wanting obamacare we need to push for defunding then repeal.

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Sep-12-13 7:34 PM

Rsimpson makes a very good point with her comment..@BKnees and other Healthcare providers are a business and aim to make a profit however their level of greed is over the top. I blame the situation we're in now on their greed.

Its always about greed in America re-worded as Capitalism.

I am still of the opinion instead of trying to repeal ACA, FIX what is wrong with the law. I benefit from keeping my kids on until age 26 and I support existing conditions. I do not support the penalty. Eliminate that and other parts that may hurt businesses. THE PART THAT NEEDS FIXED IS CAPPING PREMIUMS AND DOCTOR FEES/COSTS. If its about money for a doctor, they should go into another profession.

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Sep-13-13 9:48 AM

I appreciate the feeling of apprehension when a large policy change is thrown at us. I personally am staying optimistic. My SMB(50+) employer provides health ins. and my husband is covered at FEnergy. As in every year in the past, we see an annual increase to the payroll deduction for the premiums. We eagerly await our retirement in a few more yrs. & I am happy we will be able to go on the exchanges to shop for affordable coverage until we can apply for Medicare & glad we cannot be refused due to our pre-existings. I have not seen any stats on how many (26-50 emp.) businesses have started reducing employees to part-time to escape the ACA requirement. Does anyone have a source they can provide? I think a company that size would only be hurting its own interests to utilize that tactic & would be a poor business plan to actively seek ways to exploit the system rather than to just provide your employees insurance access. Happy,loyal workers are an invaluable asset to growing a

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Sep-14-13 11:52 AM

@BKnees Do a google search and you'll find all the information you need. I'm not going to do the work for you. If you haven't taken the time to research Obamacare how can you responsibly support it?

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Sep-15-13 3:44 AM

@Rsimpson43952 thank you for your kind advice. I have and will continue doing research on this subject. With what I have seen to date, there are some concerns to be addressed, but I expect the ACA to be an overall benefit to us all. But that's just half full. Regards bK

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Sep-16-13 9:26 AM

@BKnees We do desperately need an overhaul of our healthcare system in general. In an article published in the Journal of American Medical Association by Dr. Starfield entitled: "Is US Health really the best in the World?" she states: "The total of medically-caused deaths in the US every year is 225,000. This makes the medical system the third leading cause of death in America, behind heart disease and cancer.". On top of our system killing us they also grossly overcharge us for simple routine procedures. These are the issues which need addressed. Instead Democrats just want to win the popularity points so they jumped in with both feet instead of really trying to come up with a viable solution. The ACA is set up in way that's going to further cripple our economy and basically ruin the 40 hour work week. After Henry Choa's "third world experience" comment concerning ACA as well as Senator Max Baucus, who co-authored the bill, said he sees a trainwreck com

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Sep-16-13 9:38 AM

coming, my lack of faith in ACA is not unwarranted. The man who co-authored the bill doesn't even have faith in it. What more does anyone need to realize it's just a bad bill all around? How can ACA supporters simply ignore all the experts and the multitude of Politicians warning about the disaster that's heading our way once the law is implemented? Every American wants insurance but everyone can't afford it. Making those who don't have insurance pay a penalty is pouring salt on an open wound. Watch the movie John Q with Denzel Washington, that situation is a reality for many Americans. Hospitals are a business but it's also life and death a lot of the times. Hospitals have basically allowed people to die because they didn't have the money or their insurance wouldn't cover the procedure or would only cover a certain percentage. You think it would be beneficial to impose a penalty on people who have previously dealt with a similar situation? It's heartless and cruel. Insurance

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Sep-16-13 9:52 AM

Companies are stuck having to impose such high rates in order to pay hospitals and healthcare providers. Simple math and common sense tells you that if Hospitals are more reasonable with what they want money wise then insurance rates would go down. Our healthcare system sickens me. My grandmother worked her entire life, her employer didn't offer insurance and she made $74 over the limit. She couldn't afford the rates and had to pay out of pocket but many times had to forgo preventative testing due to the hospital's pricing. When we found out she had bone cancer, it was already in Stage 4, and had completely spread throughout her entire body. There was nothing they could do but had she had routine preventative tests the doctor probably could have caught it in time. Who has thousands of dollars for multiple tests? I'm sorry but I feel that the greed of hospitals are a major problem as is medical supplies, etc. It seems like everyone in the healthcare field grossly overcharges.

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Sep-16-13 9:59 AM

Prescription medication is also another area which grossly overcharges. I personally pay around $950 a month out of pocket for my prescriptions alone. These aren't optional medicines, they're medically necessary. My other grandma who survived Breast Cancer always got violently ill after Chemo. For a very long time we had to pay out of pocket for anti-nausea medication which was almost $500 a month. It's just ridiculous. The problems that need fixed will all fall in line once greed is taken care of. It sickens me to know that my grandmother would still be with us if we had hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay the hospital throughout the years.

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