Written by Chriss W. Street
Now that the Congress has agreed to implement the Patient Protection and Affordability Act (Obamacare) on January 1st, it is clear that the inoperability of the Plan Finder Program that the federal government operates to enroll new clients is giving black eye to American technological capabilities. Actually, the contract performance of the software program was very consistent with the way government operates. The original contract was awarded to Verizon’s cloud computing division Terremark in April 2011 for $10.8 million. But because the government changed the design parameters seven times, the price tripled to $35.5 million. The software operates exactly as the government designed it; it just doesn’t work with volume and has huge identity theft security flaws.
Given that Plan Finder was only 5% of the $698 million spent on Obamacare software design and coding over the last 3.5 years, imagine how much more will go wrong once all the system go online January 1st. As Obamacare envelops 20% of the U.S. economy, be prepared for $billions in other cost overruns and tens of millions of lost time due to hours of frustration and lost productivity.
These same bureaucrats continue to assume more and more control of our medical care. What does their incompetence say about how they will handle making life-or-death medical care decisions?
Obamacare shifts a bigger cost burden onto taxpayers and increases the number of people on the dole. Thus, pushing America in the exact opposite direction it needs to go to solve its massive debt problems.
At the individual level, you’re going to wait longer to see a doctor, you’re going to pay more for fewer treatment options, and healthcare quality will deteriorate as doctors and hospitals leave the business. Obamacare seeks to replace our patient-centered, free-market healthcare with government control and bureaucratic micromanaging. According to Elizabeth Lee Vliet, M.D., here are the ten biggest headaches you are expected to enjoy from the Obamacare roll-out:
“1. Expansion of Medicaid will increase taxpayer cost burden. Medicaid is a combined state-federal program initially designed to help the neediest among us. But it has burgeoned to cover medical costs for about one in every five people. Today, Medicaid pays for two of every five babies born in the United States, and three of every five people in long-term care facilities in the United States. Obamacare will add another 20 million new Medicaid dependents. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, that Medicaid expansion will add an average of 13% to the state budget costs in 2014 alone.
Even though Medicaid was designed to help the poor, studies have consistently shown that Medicaid recipients receive worse medical care than people without any health insurance at all! Medicaid patients have longer waits to see a doctor, fewer specialists to choose from, and poorer medical outcomes overall. On average, Medicaid patients die sooner after surgery than people who have no medical insurance.
2. “Sticker shock” from higher health insurance premiums. The majority of Americans, especially those who are young and healthy, have paid low premiums in the past, are seeing their health insurance premiums rise between 50% and 150%. Employers are also cutting full-time workers back to part-time by reducing employees’ from 40 to under 30 hours per week to avoid mandates to provide employees with expensive Obamacare-compliant coverage.
3. Large and small employers are cutting health benefits. Obamacare expands the requirements for what all health insurance policies must cover, causing premiums to rise. Americans now must pay for a host of features, whether they want to or not. For example; women who are menopausal, are charged for health insurance policy to cover pregnancy and maternity care.
Higher premiums force employers to pass on the costs to employees in the form of higher co-pays and deductibles; and/or customers in the form of higher product costs. Options for businesses to respond to the rising costs include: • fire or lay off workers; • cut health insurance benefits for everyone in the company; • reduce full-time employees to part-time; and • go out of business.
4. Remaining employer-based health insurance policies will have higher out-of-pocket costs for employees.
Because businesses must pay more to purchase Obamacare-compliant plans, employees will be required to pay higher co-pays and deductibles before coverage begins.
5. Obamacare has limited health insurance policy designs. Small-business plans and existing physician networks are being terminated due to expanded coverage requirements under Obamacare.
6. Many people cannot keep their doctors. Alternative providers for specialty treatments are being restricted into “Narrow Networks.” Many patients are being forced to find new doctors and changes in physician networks. Obamacare plan designs expect doctors to see 40 or 50 patients a day in five-minute visits.
7. Further destruction of Medicare. In 2014, Medicare patients will discover several unwanted changes: • higher premiums for their supplemental policies • fewer types of Medicare supplement policies available • more cutbacks in Medicare-covered services • longer delays to see doctors, because many doctors will close restrict taking Medicare patients due to reimbursement cuts • fewer cancer specialists will take Medicare patients • higher costs for hospital-based cancer treatments, as private out-patient offices are closed due to reimbursement cutbacks • fewer hospital-based surgeries being approved because as of October 2012, Obamacare rules incentivize hospitals (i.e., paid more by Medicare) to do fewer surgeries and procedures. • Medicare patients who sign the “Advance Beneficiary Notice” agreeing to pay for services Medicare does not cover will pay higher out-of-pocket costs for non-covered services. • Patients over 80 are already finding reduced approvals for certain procedures and medicines. Expect to see more of this age-based rationing as the Medicare cuts increase over the next decade.
8. Loss of ownership of your medical records. Your doctors, hospitals, and other health professionals are required to adopt electronic medical record systems and send patient information to the federal government’s medical database by 2015. Failure to comply will result in reduced payments for services. Government will own your personal and private information, without your approval; a violation of the 5th Amendment “Takings” clause.
9. More waivers and exemptions for the political elites and Democrat cronies. The Obama Administration and its political appointee, HHS Secretary Sibelius, have granted over 1,000 waivers and special exemptions to various donors, political allies, unions, and others. Obama’s politically connected friends are the only Americans who won’t suffer under Obamacare’s onerous regulations, ballooning costs, and 21 new taxes.
10. Individual Mandate to purchase Obamacare-compliant health insurance. “Mandate” carries the force of law and those who do not comply face another Obamacare tax in the form of a “penalty.”
Listen to Chriss Street and Paul Preston on “AGENDA 21 Radio” Streaming Monday through Friday at 6-9 AM Pacific Standard Time Click Here To Listen: (RED STATE TALK RADIO)