Friday, August 27, 2010

The Little Book of Obamacare Horrors-a guide for the worried (most folks)

Go here to read a publication from the folks at the NCPA telling the readers much they need to know about PPACA.

It is a welcome counterpoint to the rosy and in parts misleading picture painted in this publication from CMS.

For example, CMS talks about the changes in Medicare Advantage in the following way in a section astoundingly labeled as "Improvement to Medicare Advantage". ..." The new law levels the playing field by gradually eliminating Medicare Overpayments to insurance companies." Contrast that characterization with the following from the NCPA booklet:

Loss of Medicare Advantage Coverage. About half of the enrollees in Medicare Advantage (MA) plans (7½ million people) are likely to lose their coverage and will be forced to return to conventional Medicare. If you are able to keep your MA plan, expect higher premiums and fewer benefits. ...Of the 15 million people expected to enroll in Medicare Advantage programs, 7½ million will lose their plans entirely, according to Medicare’s chief actuary, and the remainder will face higher premiums and lower benefits.

The playing field seems to be leveled by forcing several million elderly folks out the MA plans many of whom may have to sign up for a Medicare supplemental insurance which is conveniently offered by AARP who just happened to have championed the health deconstruction-reconstruction bill. The follow-the-money rule has such great explanatory power.The CMS publication's section on MA would be more appropriately titled
"Throwing Medicare Advantage patients under the bus".

The entire NCPA publication is important reading but here is one interesting aspect of the bill that I was not aware of:

The government will require you to give your employer your most recent income tax return.
Both at work and in the newly created health insurance exchanges, out-of-pocket premiums will be limited to a percent of your income. In order to enforce that requirement, however, your employer or the operator of the exchange will have to know what your income is. Note: Under the new law, the income-based premium limits are not based on the wages your employer pays you. They are based on your family income — including nonwage income (dividends, interest, trust income, etc.), your spouse’s income (from all sources) and, if your children are dependents, their incomes as well.

Wow, what if you might not want your boss to know how much your spouse makes or how much you made on investments? Too bad. It all just gets better and better. (Well, I won't give Fred a raise, looks how much his wife makes.)

The NCPA booklet is great source for important details of the PPACA. For an insightful,succinct summary statement it is hard to beat this slightly paraphrased comment from the blog "Nostrums by Doc D".
The plan is to take 500 billion from Medicare, spend it on something else and then call it a savings and a quality improvement to Medicare. Compared to that game plan, the business model of the Underwear Gnomes appears brilliant.

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