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Lets Talk About ObamaCare

April 14, 2013

Duncan Banner Opinion Article, April 10, 2013

It has been stated that the trouble with the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” aka “ACA” and frequently “ObamaCare,” is that nobody understands it. There is good reason for this view.  Most of the news – including TV, radio and in print – has been filled with negative and basically misleading information. The latest inaccuracy is the rise in premiums for health insurance.

The Oklahoma Health Insurance Department, coupled with Oklahoma’s governor and legislative leaders, has been the major instigator in demeaning the health care plan. Millions of dollars of Oklahoma’s Budget have already been misused in frivolous opposing lawsuits. Recently a news release was submitted to the media entitled, “Obamacare Set to Make Health Insurance Unaffordable for Millions.” In that release was the statement, “The Price of Obamacare’s Broken Promises, was prepared for the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Senate Committee on Finance and Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.” When queried on who furnished the report, the Insurance Department said, “The sentence was in error.  The report was furnished by those committees.”   However, further research uncovered the fact that the report was actually furnished by the SOCIETY OF ACTUARYS.

(As reported by Associated Press, “Actuaries are financial risk professionals who conduct long-range cost estimates for ……. Insurance Companies!”) This report also stated, “The Obama administration challenged the design of the study, saying it focused only on one piece of the puzzle and ignored cost relief strategies in the law, such as tax credits to help people afford premiums and special payments to insurers who attract an outsized share of the sick.  Also, the study doesn’t take into account the potential price-cutting effect of competition in new state Insurance Exchanges that will go into effect October 1, 2013.” If no action is taken by Governor Fallin to establish Oklahoma’s state-run Exchange, by law the federal government must step in and set one in place for us.

Last week, at a White House briefing, Health and Human Services Secretary Sebelius commented that some insurance policies passing for health insurance today are so skimpy they cannot even be compared to the comprehensive coverage available under the Affordable Care Act!  AP reported her as saying, “Some of these folks have very high catastrophic plans that don’t pay for anything unless you get hit by a bus.” She went on to say, “They are really mortgage protection, not health insurance.”

 

The unrealistic reporting by the news media and conservative government officials of massive raises in the costs of premiums is a scare tactic initiated by the CEO’s of the health insurance industry. Yes, if you add all of the projected premium increases, they will be greater. What the public is not being told is that this is an over-all average and does not take into account projected insurance policies yet to be written. If one was never covered with health insurance, that premium will be higher.  However, the insurance exchanges that Fallin is refusing to set up will assist people in those purchases, creating AFFORDABLE health insurance premiums.

What we have not been told is that the insurance companies managed to get the full effect of the Act delayed for over 3 years, allowing them time to adjust their rates before the 10 percent limit on annual premium-cost raises goes into effect.

And let us all remember that 80 percent of premiums paid into health insurance policies will have to be paid out by the insuring company for health care, not multi-million dollar salaries for their company officers.

The Stephens County Democrats held their bi-annual County Convention April 6, 2013, at the Party’s permanent year-round office located at 16 South 8th Street in Duncan. An election of officers to guide the county party was conducted with the following officers selected:  Chairman – Jim Holland;

Vice Chairman – Koleta Wells; and Secretary – Jason Smith.

 

 

 

 

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