Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Dr. Nick will see you now

WashPost: "Insurers restricting choice of doctors and hospitals to keep costs down."  "As Americans have begun shopping for health plans on the insurance exchanges, they are discovering that insurers are restricting their choice of doctors and hospitals in order to keep costs low, and that many of the plans exclude top-rated hospitals."  If you like your affordable doctor, you can keep your affordable doctor.  Quality is another matter.


Kicking and screaming, kicking and screaming said...

That's why Seattle Children's Hospital filed suit last month against Washington’s insurance commissioner, after five of seven insurers kept it out of their provider networks. “It is unprecedented in our market to have major insurance plans exclude Seattle Children’s,” said Sandy Melzer, senior vice president.

One of the five insurers has already reversed itself and agreed to cover services at the hospital.

Modern Healthcare writes, "The suit could foreshadow similar legal moves by other providers excluded from exchange plans."

Boo, the bad kind of anecdote said...

From the WashPost article:
"Blank’s insurer, Premera, has suggested that he enroll in the new Premera plan on the marketplace. But Children’s is not in the new network. So, Blank must make a choice...

Blank faults the insurer and not the health law, which has already benefited his family, he said. Before its enactment, insurance companies routinely put a dollar cap on the amount of benefits a person could receive in a lifetime. Without the law, Zoe, 5, who received a diagnosis of a sometimes fatal condition called osteopetrosis, probably would have reached that cap before adulthood, her father said."

Eric said...

I've been told that I should not use personal anecdotes as evidence to the success or failure of Obamacare.

Unless it's hilariously ironic: "Woman Who Obama Cited as Obamacare Success Story Now Says She Can’t Afford Health Coverage."

Once upon a link said...

Good anecdotes affirm our preconceptions and rooting interests. Bad anecdotes suggest the possibility that we may be mistaken.

It was good that you cited that WashPost article about reduced choice. It is bad that the article is poisoned with a bothersome example of Obamacare helping a sick child.

Good anecdotes must be shared. Bad anecdotes must be crushed.

Eric said...

That's why I like numbers. For example: 80,000 Californians have signed up for Obamacare. And 1.1 million have lost their health insurance.

But somewhere in that 80,000 is a sick child getting help. Win!

Numbers said...

Total Romneycare enrollments, 2007:
After month #1: 123
After month #2: 2,089
After month #11 (the last before the penalty): 36,617

Kaiser polling on the Medicare Part D drug plan:
Feb. '04: 55% unfavorable, 17% favorable
Oct. '04: 44% unfavorable, 27% favorable
Dec. '05 (pre-launch): 50% unfavorable, 28% favorable

Kaiser appears to have given up polling the topic. Medicare Today polling released two months ago had the Part D drug plan's favorability at 90%, with 9% unfavorable.

Eric said...

Kaiser is still polling Obamacare and approval has collapsed to 33%.

But I think we both know that a large chunk of that disapproval is people who really love Obamacare but secretly want single payer.

Numbers said...

Gasp! Obamacare's approval has collapsed to a point substantially higher than the previous federal health law that's rebounded to 90% in under a decade? What a counterplay.

Obamacare will never reach 90%, of course, because Democrats in 2005 didn't recreate themselves as a fullblown Medicare Part D opposition party, and because they didn't throw sand and firecrackers into Medicare Part D's oversight and execution in half the states.

Was the Obamacare promise basically phony? Yes, but it was calculated, necessary B.S. in the face of crazier B.S. Which means Barry got his prize, and now it's time for him to take whatever lumps he's gotta take.

Obamacare approval ratings? Ooh, they could really kill his third term. Losing seats in 2014, in exchange for a national healthcare program that will be used as an electoral club on Republicans' skulls for decades to come? That's a trade the Democrats make every day of the week and twice on Sundays. The Voting Rights Act cost the Democrats plenty. Think they regret it? Think it was LBJ's Katrina?

And what if the GOP does take the Senate? Obama'll be sitting there with his veto pen for two years. In the next three years the website will only start working better. The ominous will have turned into the known. The numerous very popular sections of the law will only have become more popular, and apparent, and ingrained. Public support for those protections will be a preexisting condition. All of the "OMG Idaho only signed up 3 people and a goat" stories will be meaningless, old confetti in the wind. Most Republican states will have bought in one by one; the Guardian reports that Florida is already quietly conducting Medicaid expansion negotiations. Employer insurance will have faded away even more by 2016, leaving more people dependent on the exchanges. The GOP's "no, vote for our nothing" plan is already electorally untenable, as historical footnote Mitt "Day One" Romney can attest. By 2016, it'll be ludicrously untenable.

And nabbing the Senate in 2014 is only a fond conceivable wish, in a country where the pro-Obamacare Republican just whipped the anti-Obamacare Republican, in the same Louisiana House district that Romney won by 23 points a year ago.

The ACA is a fact of life. It is here to stay. Oh, "help me repeal and replace" will continue to rake in the sucker money donations from the yokels who also think they're thisclose to overturning Roe v. Wade, or exposing Benghazi to end Obama's presidency. The boilerplate noise will continue, but to less and less effect. Obamacare's never going to vanish. On that point, Bill Kristol finally got something right.

Eric said...

This entire comment is speculative, a long "you'll be sorry!" shake of the fist. Tell me chief: which side of the aisle has been consistently correct about the effects of Obamacare and which has needed to explain the unknown intricacies of "if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor?"

I'd like to see the words "It was a necessary lie" tattooed on the forehead of every Democrat.

Chief said...

Perhaps not the best political week to accuse Democrats of speculative "you'll be sorry!" fist shakes.

Tell me chief: which side of the aisle has been consistently correct about the effects of Obamacare

When you're right, you're right.

*Obamacare is socialism.
*Obamacare is a government takeover.
*Obamacare is the largest tax increase in history.
*Obamacare rations health coverage.
*Obamacare is a job killer.
*Congress is exempt from Obamacare.
*Illegals will be getting free Obamacare.
*Most small businesses will be forced to cut hours or fire workers.
*Death panels. So many death panels.
*Obamacare will blow up the debt.
*Unions don’t have to comply with Obamacare.
*Obamacare is reponsible for every cancelled policy, and every rate increase.
*The 2012 election will be a referendum on Obamacare, until it wasn’t.
*The 2013 Virginia election will be a referendum on Obamacare, until it wasn’t.
*Obamacare waives your right to medical privacy.
*First month enrollment numbers tell us all we need to know.
*Universal costs go up when women’s policies cover prostate exams, men’s policies cover gynecological visits, and old people’s policies cover pediatric care.
*Delaying Obamacare deadlines is illegal.

The one-sided clairvoyance has been uncanny. Say, as long as you’re patting yourself on the back for being consistently correct, how’d that destructive $716 billion Medicare theft work out?

Eric said...

Are you serious? Most of these are demonstrably true.

I'll make this prediction, oddly missing from the list: now that the full impact of this disaster is known, 2014 will be a referendum on Obamacare.

Elizabeth "41st Vote" Warren said...

Well, like the old saying goes, 12th time's the charm.

Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose.