Tag: Obamacare

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For those unfortunate enough to be “covered”* by an ACA insurance plan, paying cash at an out-of-network practice, apparently, constitutes an act of fraud. Never mind that a thousand financial-planning websites advocate exactly this practice. No, it’s fraud. Evil. Contemptible. Horrible. Hideous. A family member of mine learned this great, undeniable truth recently, after she […]

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I believe some Ricochetti practice “concierge” medicine (outside the medical insurance system), and others may be cash-paying patients. What does a person who has signed up with a particular doctor for regular medical care on a cash or subscription model do about paying for major not-regular medical care and hospitalization? Preview Open

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America toast better-than-expected unemployment numbers, the best in 18 years.  They also lambaste Virginia Republicans for rolling over and approving the Obamacare Medicaid expansion they claimed to oppose for years.  And they dig through more eye-opening posts from Joy Reid’s supposedly hacked blog, including her likening of John McCain to the Virginia Tech shooter, endorsing the removal of the Israeli government to Europe, and likening illegal immigration to slave labor for multinationals.

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“Purity” and the debate over who is the “true conservative” has become a staple of Republican primaries. It’s also an incredibly toxic way to run Republican, especially conservative Republican politics. It reduces the quality and weight of the principles we espouse.  This is especially clear in Idaho right now. In the upcoming Idaho primary on […]

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America discuss new polling showing public perception dropping for businesses that are publicly breaking ties with the NRA, due entirely to a massive plunge in favorability among Republicans.  They also breathe a sigh of relief as Republicans in Arizona’s eighth congressional district reject the frontrunner in the primary after the married minister was caught exchanging inappropriate texts with a female staffer.  And they wish the best of luck to 20 state attorneys general who argue that all of Obamacare should be declared unconstitutional now that the tax provision that saved it at the Supreme Court in 2012 has been scrapped in the new tax law.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are back from celebrating Christmas and are ready to bestow more of their prestigious Three Martini Lunch Awards.  Today, they discuss their choices for the worst political scandals of the year, with both having nomination having connections to the 2016 campaign.  They also discuss their limited options for best political theater of the year and try to figure out what the worst political theater was in a year full of cringeworthy moments.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America cheer House and Senate passage of tax cuts and tax reform, noting the vast majority of Americans will see bigger paychecks while the Obamacare individual mandate gets repealed and energy exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is given the green light.  They also recoil at reports that Senate Republican leaders may have agreed to Obamacare bailouts and taxpayer-funded abortions in exchange for Sen. Susan Collins voting for the tax bill.  And they discuss Rosie O’Donnell offering two million dollars apiece for Collins and Sen. Jeff Flake to vote against the tax legislation.

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In case you need a break from all the dark, hellish headlines recently, read the following story. It is guaranteed to garner a belly laugh because it mixes politics and well……let’s just say Humorist Ron Hart has a way of making a preventative medical procedure sound hilarious, especially combined with politics. Somehow the words politics […]

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Heart Failure: A Win-Win for Obamacare

 

One of the features we got when we got Obamacare was a new program aimed at reducing hospital readmission rates for various expensive diseases. The primary disease targeted by this new program was heart failure. Heart failure was chosen for the simple reason that spending on this condition accounts for 43% of all Medicare spending, which amounts to up to $38 billion each year.

Obamacare stipulated that hospitals that failed to sufficiently reduce the 30-day rate of readmission for their patients discharged with heart failure would be financially punished. This punishment was set at an amount equal to 3% of the hospital’s total annual Medicare payments. (That’s total Medicare payments for every Medicare patient, not just the ones with heart failure.) Given the shaky margins under which many hospitals operate, and given the size of their Medicare populations, this level of financial punishment was potentially not survivable. It was the medical equivalent of the NCAA death penalty.

Richard Epstein explains the contents of President Trump’s new executive order on healthcare, explores the controversy around a White House proposal to cut subsidies to insurers, and explains why conservatives who fretted about President Obama’s use of executive orders shouldn’t be bothered by this exercise of executive power.

Bill recaps his meeting with President Trump and speech at the Values Voter Summit. Then he talks with Andy McCarthy about Trump’s decision to decertify the Iran deal and end the Obamacare insurance bailouts. Bill also talks about U.S. forces crushing ISIS and the ongoing war against radical Islam with Brian Kennedy of the American Strategy Group. Finally, Bill continues his conversation with Steve Wynn. The two discuss race in America and how American’s true colors have shown bright in the wake of the recent hurricanes

Making Health Care Great Again

 

President Trump has issued a long overdue Executive Order (EO) opening up health care markets to a new regime of choice and competition. Of course, his liberal detractors are up in arms. In their joint statement, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi concluded that Trump had “apparently decided to punish the American people for his inability to improve our health care system. It is a spiteful act of vast, pointless sabotage leveled at working families and the middle class in every corner of America.” John Cassidy of the New Yorker called Trump’s latest move “a spiteful act of vandalism.”

There are difficulties, both practical and legal, in undoing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which never should have been implemented in the first place. But for our health care system to survive, it is necessary to bleed out the enormous cross-subsidies in which one group of insureds pay premiums to supply coverage to another group. It’s an unstable situation, but one that now keeps the health care exchanges afloat. These cross-subsidies are necessarily large because the ACA’s list of essential medical services mandates coverage for expensive and ill-defined items like habilitative services.

The ACA embodies all the pathologies of centrally planned systems by refusing to use prices to signal the relative worth of various goods. Worse, it requires all providers to allocate their expenditures between medical services and administrative expenses under its 80/20 Rule (or 85/15 for large insurers). That rule forces insurers to spend only 20 percent (or 15 percent) of its revenues on administrative expenses like signing up new accounts, even though the insurers are far better at allocating their own costs. Meanwhile, the individual health care insurance market has dwindled, for young people are opting out of its stacked systems. As Trump’s executive order notes, the ACA has not accomplished its chief goal of reducing costs: Premiums have nearly doubled since 2013, even with the large federal subsidy.

President Trump’s new strategy for Obamacare and the Iran Deal? Following the law. (And Democrats hate it)

Avik Roy on what Trump’s executive orders on Obamacare did–and didn’t–accomplish.

A Sellout, A Hypocrite or Worse, Part II: A Lament

 

In what I thought was a couple years ago, but find was nearly six years ago, I posted about my dilemma at the time: I was renting, married with four children and employed full-time, but couldn’t afford the employer-offered healthcare product(s) for my entire family. I had trouble reconciling myself as a bona fide right-winger (much farther to the right of the average Ricochetto or Ricochetta), and the idea of enrolling my children onto Wisconsin’s Badgercare program, the local Medicare services. The response was positive, agreeing with my findings that the market had been horribly affected by the continuing horrendous idea of having healthcare given by employers, rather than via private providers as we do for all other insurance products.

I’ve since moved companies twice; in 2015 I started working for a company that ultimately let me go this past August (it wasn’t a good fit from the start, and I can’t blame them too much). I start with a new company at the end of October, at a higher-than-expected (and higher-than-before) rate of pay: I don’t mind telling you, via the anonymity of Ricochet, that I’ll be making $60k, quite a good salary here in “north-east” Wisconsin (Oshkosh – Appleton) area in the Retirement Plan Administration industry (compliance testing, government reporting, ERISA expertise for 401(k)s, 403(b)s, old style “pension” plans, etc.).

Michael Ramirez on NFL, Obamacare, North Korea, Hillary Clinton, and the Culture Wars

 

Michael RamirezOn this week’s episode of Whiskey Politics, we welcome back Michael Ramirez and discuss some of his latest provocative art. Michael’s a two-time winner of the prestigious Pulitzer Prize and a three-time Sigma Delta Chi, Society of Professional Journalism Award winner.

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Susan Collins, John McCain, Rand Paul, and Lisa Murkowski have repeatedly blocked repeal of Obamacare. So where’s their bill? I didn’t address it in the video, but I do know that Paul put out a bill for repeal. However, all it said was, essentially, “Obamacare is repealed.” That’s not a real bill. A real bill […]

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America believe the judge made the right decision in sentencing former congressman/predator Anthony Weiner to 21 months in prison for transferring obscene material to a minor.  They also discuss the latest GOP health care bill going up in flames as some Republicans think it’s not conservative enough and others think it’s too conservative, making the likelihood of anything getting done on this issue in this Congress very slim.  And they’re disturbed as Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle – and former Army ranger – Alejandro Villanueva apologizes to his teammates, coaches and the Steelers organization for being the only one on the field Sunday for the national anthem.