Can Obamacare ultimately meet public’s expectations?

It’s a huge challenge as Americans have varied views on what’s affordable when it comes to health insurance.

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The cyberlaunch of the Affordable Care Act — aka Obamacare — was a disaster, as Obama administration officials are now conceding.

It was a good move. In the long run, a bunch of technology problems don’t really matter.

Let’s face it, if Obamacare succeeds in bringing down the cost of health care and boosts access to medical insurance, the cascade of computer glitches would be forgiven by the public.

Unfortunately for the Obama administration, the ACA roll out seems to be going downhill.

The Washington Post reported Wednesday that notices went out to hundreds of thousands of Americans informing them that their health insurance policies are being canceled as of Dec. 31.

The notices are red meat for Republicans eager to undercut President Obama’s social agenda.

President Obama sold the ACA on the promise that those who liked their insurance and their doctors could keep both. This latest development, whether a minor problem or a huge one, has created anxiety for those who are being told by their insurance company they won’t be covered in 2014.

White House officials contend that canceled insurance will be replaced by better policies. That promise and about $2,000 will pay the bill for an average hospital emergency room visit.

The pledges of affordable insurance are also ringing hollow to some.

The prices for the various insurance plans might be “affordable” based on calculating incomes and projected medical costs for families. However, those rates might seem high — even outrageous — to those being asked to pay the bills.

One of the reasons people don’t have health insurance now is because they couldn’t justify the expense. They might have little cash left after car payments, house payments, student loans, grocery bills and utility bills. Their incomes might be above the $45,000 Obamacare subsidy threshold, but the fact is there isn’t any money left.

And even those who are eligible for subsidies feel, based on their personal situation, that Obamacare insurance plans cost too much.

This is why millions of folks who have been able to price insurance in the newly established marketplaces have balked at giving their VISA number.

Insurance is not affordable now, and it still might not be affordable.

Perhaps their expectations of cost were unrealistic. All the hype could have caused some to conclude the cost will be free or close to it.

Free, of course, is too good to be true. Therefore, it isn’t.

The Obama administration has a lot to manage in putting the ACA into action, including the public’s expectations. It won’t be easy.

But the success or failure of Obamacare hinges on meeting the majority of expectations.

Comments

barracuda 10 months ago

Looks like a new problem with the ACA is now getting public attention:

According to this MSN piece, it will be only in-state coverage for medical care.

It seems that most of the new and improved policies only cover in-state medical care. All of the changing of the Doctors is going to be a night mare. What about when we (Walla Walla residents) are on vacation, does this mean it will be all out of pocket payout?

Does this mean M-F residents are now going to have to change from WW to Pendelton/Portland Medical care? When we all live in the same Valley, are these people going to have to use Oregon Hospitals now? Are they (in an emergency) going to have to travel 25-35 mins further for care when all Ambulance companies charges per mile of patient care. What about OB-Gyn? Dentists? Heart Specialists? Chiropractic care? Surgical care? List can go on and on.....

I don't think St. Anthonys Hospital can compete on all levels of care the St. Mary's and WWGH can.

"we have to pass this bill so we can know what is in it" ..... Nancy Palosi

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namvet60 9 months, 4 weeks ago

The reports are out that some hospitals around the country may refuse ACA patients for healthcare. You may not have a hospital that has any Doctors available for medicad care.

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MyFamNews 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Hospitals are required to accept and treat everyone. They can not refuse care for any reason by law. It follows that they can not refuse care based on the ACA. Sometimes, namvet, you make no sense at all.

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namvet60 9 months, 3 weeks ago

I'm glad that you realize that we have laws in this here land. It's really to bad that this Administration does not enforce the majority of the essential laws but takes all the trivial problems which they concentrate on.

Now maybe you can read and comprend the following link and learn something new to add to your makes no sense at all. The liberals use this as a standard line.

http://health.usnews.com/health-news/hospital-of-tomorrow/articles/2013/10/30/top-hospitals-opt-out-of-obamacare

Maybe you should do some research before criticize someone?

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PearlY 9 months, 3 weeks ago

They are not required to accept and treat anyone for non-emergency care. If your appendix ruptures or you get hit by a car, yes, they have to treat you at least until you're stable and can be transferred. If you want to schedule your lung cancer surgery or your dialysis treatments, you can be turned away if the hospital does not accept your insurance or accept Medicaid patients.

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barracuda 9 months, 3 weeks ago

But wait.....

I was under the impression that people were dying all over the USA because they were not covered by insurance ... ... ...

Isn't that one of the big arguments the White House used to get this law passed? "So have to die because they couldn't get medical care"?

In all reality, it has always been the law, that all people have a right to basic life sustaining health care at any ER, period! And they can call an emergency ambulance at anytime.... Writing off bad debts are a huge liability to ambulance services, WW included. That is one of the main reasons it costs so much to ride in an Ambulance... they just adjust the cost of yours and my rides...

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downhillracer 9 months, 4 weeks ago

One more time: Insurance companies are excluding providers from networks, and excluding any coverage at all for out-of-network providers, not providers refusing to participate.

"The reports are out.." Such solid research and bs-free commentary. In-network/out-network issues have been around - thanks to the insurance industry - for years.

http://www.nationaljournal.com/innovations-in-health/narrow-network-health-plans-expected-to-proliferate-under-obamacare-20131009

http://www.correntewire.com/obamacare_new_york_blue_cross_plans_dont_cover_out_of_network_docs_at_all

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namvet60 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Who once stated "If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep your healthcare plan, Period! If you like your Doctor, you can keep your Doctor, Period!"

It slips my mind who once rendered those choice words to the citizens of this fine country but they sure did mis-lead everyone. Maybe you could say they LIED?

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