October 17, 2017

ObamaCare Exchanges Are Set to Create a Host of New Problems and Exacerbate Old Ones

Press Release from the National Center for Public Policy Research:

‘Glitch’ in Subsidy Mechanism Means Many Exchange Consumers Could Pay Higher Premiums

Customers Will Find Insurance with Even Skinnier Networks; Exchanges Will Move One Step Closer to Death Spiral

Dr. David Hogberg, Health Care Policy Analyst, Available to Discuss What to Expect from Exchanges’ Second Open Enrollment Season

Washington, DC – While a repeat of last year’s disaster is unlikely when ObamaCare exchanges re-open this Saturday, they will still be plagued with problems.

“Consumers who enrolled last year are likely to see the premiums spike, especially if they received a subsidy,” said Dr. David Hogberg, health care policy analyst at the National Center for Public Policy Research. “Further, if enrollment is anything like it was last year, then the exchanges are headed for big problems down the road.”

About 83 percent of exchange enrollees have received a premiums subsidy. Many of them may see their subsidy amount drop because of the way the subsidy is calculated. It is based on the second-lowest cost silver plan, and that plan will likely be cheaper on most exchanges this year. That could mean hefty premium hikes for people who don’t change their plans.

Enrollees shouldn’t expect the “skinny networks” in most exchange plans to gain any weight. Most indications are that insurers are sticking with provider networks that offer limited choice of physicians and hospitals in order to keep costs down.

Expect the risk pools on the exchanges to deteriorate. The enrollees on the exchange are already older and sicker than is optimal for an insurance risk pool. Under such conditions, a death spiral will eventually occur, causing premiums to skyrocket, prompting younger and healthier enrollees to drop out. This leaves the risk pools even sicker and older, and the process repeats. The Obama Administration was counting on the new enrollees to balance out the risk pools, but recently the Administration admitted that only 2 to 3 million new people will likely sign up, far short of the 6 million projected by the Congressional Budget Office.

Finally, as the risk pools worsen, expect the insurance company bailout–i.e., the “risk corridors”– to cost the taxpayers even more next year. If the pools are even older and sicker than they were before, the bailout will be even greater than the $1 billion that the risk corridors are expected to cost for 2014.

“Last year, the problems with the exchanges were readily apparent,” said Dr. Hogberg. “This year the problems might be less apparent, but they are just as serious.”

Facts and Figures

• An analysis by the Colorado state government found that lower-cost silver plans could reduce subsidies to the point that exchange consumers could see their premiums rise by an average of 77 percent if they keep their current plans.

• The regulations governing ObamaCare exchanges have worsened the quality of insurance plans. To cover the cost of the regulations and keep premiums even remotely reasonable, insurers had to increase out-of-pocket costs and reduce provider networks. A National Center for Public Policy Research study found there was an average of 33 policies for a 27-year-old on the individual market in 2013 that had both lower premiums and lower or equal out-of-pocket costs than the cheapest policy on the exchange. There were ten such policies for a 57-year-old couple. It also found that network quality declined. The average number of preferred provider organization plans on the exchange declined when compared to the individual market while the number of plans with more restrictive health maintenance organizations (HMO) increased considerably.

• In California, insurers on the exchange plan to keep the skinny provider networks despite substantial consumer criticism. Los Angeles Times analysis of company data shows that some networks will continue to shrink. Insurer HealthNet, the Times says, is dumping one of its Preferred Provider Network plans and “switching to a plan with 54 percent fewer doctors and no out-of-network coverage, state data show.” Adding insult to injury, the premiums are increasing nine percent. The Times reports the company said “its cutbacks were necessary to avoid even steeper rate hikes.”

• The exchanges have reduced competition. A recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report found that consumers had access to an average of 36 insurers in their states in 2012. That dropped to an average of three on the ObamaCare exchanges. Large insurers were the most likely to participate on the exchanges, while “most smaller issuers with less than 5 percent of the 2012 market did not participate in the 2014 exchanges,” according to the GAO report. It’s not clear why the small companies didn’t participate, but Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) identified perhaps the likeliest reason when he said, “the GAO report provides evidence that the health care law’s burdensome requirements may be giving an unfair advantage to big insurers over smaller ones.”

• Only 28 percent of exchange enrollees are between the ages of 18-34, far short of the 38 to 40 percent the Obama Administration said would be needed to keep the risk pools stable.

• A good indicator of a person’s health is his or her self-reported health status. A Gallup poll found that newly-insured people who obtained policies on the exchanges self-reported being less healthy, on average. About 37 percent said they were in excellent or very good health while 22 percent said they were in fair or poor health. Among the entire adult population, the corresponding numbers are 50 percent and 18 percent, respectively.

• Research from Express Scripts shows that about 1.3 percent of prescriptions filled for exchange enrollees were specialty drugs. The comparable number in other private plans is about 0.8 percent. That may not seem like a big difference, but specialty drugs are usually quite expensive. As the Express Scripts’ study notes, “despite comprising less than 1% of all U.S. prescriptions, specialty medications now account for more than 25% of total pharmacy” spending.

• Most of the 15 health insurance companies and 23 health co-ops that cover nearly 80 percent of exchange enrollees expect to receive money from ObamaCare’s risk corridor. The total amount they will receive is estimated at $725 million. If extrapolated over all companies and co-ops on the exchange, the bailout could come to $1 billion for 2014.

What the National Center for Public Policy Research’s Dr. David Hogberg Says About the ObamaCare Exchanges:

• “Many supporters of ObamaCare insisted that the health insurance exchanges created by the law would result in consumers having a greater choice among insurance policies and lower prices. This study tests those claims by examining policies on the exchanges in metropolitan areas across 45 states for a single 27-year-old and a 57-year-old couple. It then compares those with the policies available in those same areas on eHealthInsurance.com (eHealth) and Finder.healthcare.gov (Finder) in 2013. The results show that the claims that the ObamaCare exchanges would offer greater choice and lower prices did not hold up. A 27-year-old male had, on average, ten more policies to choose from on eHealth versus the exchange and 31 more on Finder. A 27-year-old female had an average of ten more insurance options on eHealth and 38 on Finder. There were an average of nine more policies on eHealth and 19 more on Finder for a 57-year-old couple. Consumers also previously had more lower-cost options than they now have on the exchanges. A 27-year-old male had, on average, access to 32 policies on eHealth that cost less than the cheapest policy on the exchanges and 38 policies that cost less on Finder. There were an average of 18 cheaper policies on eHealth and 20 on Finder for a 27-year-old female. A 57-year-old couple had access to an average of 29 cheaper polices on eHealth compared to the lowest-cost policy on the exchange and 28 on Finder.”

• “When millions of people in the individual health insurance market lost their health plans in late 2013, ObamaCare supporters claimed those lost plans were ‘substandard’ or ‘crappy.’ However, they failed to support that contention. [The fact is] there were many policies on the individual market that had lower premiums and lower or equal deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums than the cheapest plans now available on the exchanges. It also finds that the individual market prior to the exchanges offered a greater choice of hospitals and physicians since it contained far more PPO policies than HMO policies, whereas the exchanges offer more HMO policies.”

• “If the exchanges do not attract a sufficient number of people in the 18-34 age demographic, they will eventually enter an insurance ‘death spiral.’ This occurs when the young and healthy drop out of the ‘insurance pool.’ This leads to ‘adverse selection’ in which insurance is only attractive to those who are generally older and sicker. If the insurance pool is comprised largely of people who are older and sicker, then insurance prices will rise to cover their costs. That rate increase causes even more young and healthy people to drop their insurance, leaving the pools even older and sicker than before, and so on. Eventually, all but a few insurers will be forced to discontinue their business on the exchanges because they can no longer make a profit. Fewer insurers means less competition, resulting in even higher insurance premiums.”

What Others Are Saying About the ObamaCare Exchanges:

• Michael Tanner, senior fellow at the Cato Institute: “A bigger question is how many enrollees were previously insured and were just changing plans. Overall, the best estimates suggest that roughly 8 million people gained insurance under ObamaCare, but roughly half of those were enrolled in Medicaid (outside of the exchanges), which isn’t really health-care reform so much as adding people to government welfare. And it still leaves 41 million American adults uninsured. We spent billions to move the needle a tick.” – Michael Tanner, Cato Institute

• Writing in Forbes, Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow Avik Roy said, “ObamaCare forces insurers to offer more benefits, requires them to spend more money on health expenses, and subsidizes the consumption of richer insurance packages. The laws of economics dictate that these costs will get passed down to consumers…. ObamaCare [also] forces insurers to charge their eldest beneficiaries no more than 3 times what they charge their youngest ones: a policy known as ‘community rating.’ This, despite the fact that these older beneficiaries typically have six times the health expenditures that younger people face. The net effect of this ‘community rating’ provision is the redistribution of insurance costs from the old to the young.” – Avik Roy in Forbes

• “Mark V. Pauly, a health economist with the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, said that while the president and officials in his administration claimed they wanted more competition among insurers, ObamaCare has put in place regulations that limit it [on the exchanges]. ‘It’s part of the schizophrenia that the administration wanted lots of competition, but, on the other hand, they wanted to put a lid on profits that would attract competition,’ Pauly said. ‘You can’t have it both ways.'” – Richard Pollack, Washington Examiner.

The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations, and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active and recent contributors. Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated.

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Dr. Russell Blaylock: Dirty Vaccine Secrets

I’m certainly not promoting Jones, here. Unfortunately we get the bad with the good and Blaylock is highly credible. I’m surprised he hasn’t been “suicided.”

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Executive Order To Send National Guard to Liberia

“President Barack Obama issued an executive order on Thursday paving the way for the deployment of National Guard and Reserve forces to West Africa to help contain the Ebola outbreak there.

Under the mandate, the secretaries of defense and homeland security can order to active duty some members of the Selected Reserve and the Individual Ready Reserve mobilization.”<<<Read More>>>

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Obama’s Ebola

Is there actually hidden truth behind this picture?

ObamaEbola

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General Mills Investors Reject Proposal Demanding Company Remove GM Ingredients from Products

Press Release from National Center for Public Policy Research:

Famous Food Brand Urged to Promote Benefits and Promises of GMOs

National Center Marks Third Major Victory Against Anti-GMO Movement in 2014

Washington, DC/Minneapolis MN – At today’s annual meeting of General Mills shareholders, the company’s investors heeded the National Center for Public Policy Research’s advice in rejecting a resolution that would have forced the food giant to remove genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) from its products.

Yesterday, the National Center issued a press release highlighting the high costs and pseudoscience of the proposal and urged investors to reject it.

“The public policy debate over GMOs is riddled with misinformation and highly-sensationalized arguments,” said National Center Free Enterprise Project Director Justin Danhof, Esq. “Today’s meeting shows that fact-based scientific consensus can trump emotional appeals that are not tethered to science or reason. Anti-GMO leaders have done a good job of scaring many Americans into thinking GMOs are harmful just by saying so. But the overwhelming body of scientific evidence proves them wrong.”

At the meeting, Danhof spoke out against Proposal 5 that was submitted by Harriett Crosby of Cabin John, Maryland – a descendant of one of General Mills founders. The resolution called for the company to “adopt a policy of removing genetically engineered crops, organisms, or ingredients from products sold or manufactured by the company,” and supported that request by claiming that “genetic engineering involves significant risks to the environment, food security, and public health.”

In delivering her proposal, the proponent claimed that “we are killing ourselves” with GMOs. Danhof replied, in part:

Anti-GMO activists, such as Proposal Five’s proponent, are part of a wide-scale, anti-scientific effort to scare Americans away from perfectly healthy foods and life-saving technological agricultural advancements…

The anti-GMO attacks come from Americans and western Europeans who have likely never missed a meal in their lives. Their campaigns against GMOs are unscientific, fear-based and inhumane.

GMO foods are a great gift to mankind. They lower food costs, allow farmers to produce food in a more sustainable way, and, as Bill Gates and the Gates Foundation have pointed out, show great promise for ending world hunger and malnutrition.

A tally of the preliminary vote at the meeting showed that more than 97 percent of General Mills shareholders voted against the proposal.

“These would-be food police wield a powerful weapon – fear. However, General Mills investors proved that facts and sound science can overcome irrational emotion,” said Danhof. “By removing GM ingredients from original Cheerios back in January, the company perhaps put a target on its back for GMO opponents to exploit, but today these activists were soundly rejected.

In response to Danhof’s comments, General Mills CEO Ken Powell said the company stands by the overwhelming research and studies that show GMOs are safe, and also touted the environmental and humanitarian benefits which they hold. And, in response to yet another anti-GMO activist in the meeting, Powell affirmed that the company would keep GM ingredients in its remaining Cheerios cereals.

“By declaring publicly that General Mills will keep GM ingredients in its remaining Cheerios line, this signals to me that the company realizes that removing GM ingredients from original Cheerios was perhaps a mistake,” said Danhof. “Powell also pointed out that consumers who wish to avoid GMOs have the choice to buy organic – and consumer choice is what will drive company decisions – not irrational food police.

Today’s meeting marks the third occasion this year in which company investors have sided with the National Center concerning a GMO proposal.

In January, the National Center urged Monsanto investors to reject a shareholder proposal from well-known anti-GMO groups that would have forced the company to work directly with the FDA towards mandatory GMO-labeling. At Monsanto’s annual shareholder meeting, the proposal was defeated with more than 95 percent of the company’s shareholders voting against it.

Then, at July’s annual meeting of Safeway investors, the National Center spoke out against a proposal that called for the grocery giant to label its foods containing GMOs. That proposal was defeated with approximately 90 percent of the shareholders voting it down.

In addition to countering pseudoscience, anti-GMO resolutions, the National Center’s Free Enterprise Project is also urging food companies to do much more to defend their products and the promise of GMOs.

At today’s meeting, General Mills CEO Powell said that the company stands behinds it products and the promise of GMOs and that the company does a good job of relaying this information. But he also said that he would support a consistent federal labeling notation for non-GMO foods, so consumers who want those specific items can easily identify them.

Other food company CEOs have also signaled their intention to increase awareness of the benefits of GMOs.

Notably, after Danhof urged Monsanto executives to have the company’s scientists engage the public and explain the safety and benefits of GM foods, the Wall Street Journal noted that Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant agreed with Danhof, saying that “it’s a really good idea” and that the company “need[s] to do more to more” to win the GMO debate.

In May, Danhof also attended the Kraft Foods and Pepsi shareholder meetings to urge those major name-brand companies to do more to combat the fear-mongering and deceptive narratives of anti-GMO special interests.

At Kraft’s meeting in Glenview, Illinois, Danhof asked Kraft’s CEO to “[e]xplain how much GMO labeling laws would increase food prices, explain the environmental benefits of GMOs and explain the potential life-saving benefits they hold for third-world consumers … we firmly believe it would be strongly in the company’s best interest – and the public’s best interest – if Kraft stepped up its efforts to educate the American public about them.”

Danhof noted following the meeting that Kraft executives agreed that the company must do more to engage and win this public policy debate. “[Kraft CEO Tony Vernon] noted that GMOs are in so much of what everyone in the meeting has been eating for the past 25 years, and are perfectly safe. He pledged that in the coming months, the industry and Kraft would be much more vocal and aggressive in speaking about the many benefits of GMOs,” said Danhof

Similarly, following the Pepsi meeting, Danhof reported Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi saying the company planned “to use its resources to work with the Food and Drug Administration to get the word out about high-yield crops. She believes the FDA has a responsibility and a duty to educate the American people about food ingredients and safety. She also recognized the powerful role the National Center can play in public education through our broad outreach efforts and engagement with other food and beverage corporations.”

The National Center’s Free Enterprise Project is the nation’s preeminent free-market corporate activist group. In 2013, Free Enterprise Project representatives participated in 33 shareholder meetings advancing free-market ideals in the areas of health care, energy, taxes, subsidies, regulations, religious freedom, media bias, gun rights and many other important public policy issues. Tomorrow’s meeting will mark the 52nd shareholder meeting of 2014 for the National Center.

The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations, and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active recent contributors.

Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated.

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General Mills Shareholders Urged to Reject GMO Food Proposal

Press Release from National Center for Public Policy Research:

National Center for Public Policy Research Warns Food-Giant Investors of Proposal’s High Costs, Scare Tactics and Pseudoscience

Food Companies Urged to Stand Up for the Promise of GMOs

Washington, DC/Minneapolis MN – The National Center for Public Policy Research is urging General Mills investors to vote down a shareholder proposal that would direct the company to remove completely safe and nutritious genetically modified organisms (GMOs) from its products

The proposal will be voted on at tomorrow’s annual meeting of General Mills shareholders in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

“General Mills’ shareholders can send a strong message to self-appointed food police by rejecting this junk-science proposal. The scientific debate regarding GMOs is over and the radical activists have lost,” said National Center Free Enterprise Project Director Justin Danhof, Esq. “The science is settled – GMOs are safe.”

If approved, the proposal would require the company to remove GM ingredients from all the products it manufactures or sells. The proponent deceivingly claims this removal is necessary because they “believe genetic engineering involves risk to the environment, food security, and public health.”

Harriett Crosby of Cabin John, Maryland, submitted the proposal. It appears on page 58 of the General Mills proxy statement.

“The body of scientific evidence that directly refutes this proposal is overwhelming and unanimous. Junk science and fear should not overrule facts and scientific consensus,” added Danhof.

Numerous independent and well-regarded scientific organizations and studies have categorically proven that GMOs are safe. These include:

• The National Academy of Sciences

• The American Association for the Advancement of Science – which has stated that the “science is quite clear: crop improvement by the modern molecular techniques of biotechnology is safe.”

• The American Medical Association – which has unequivocally stated that “Bioengineered foods have been consumed for… 20 years, and during that time, no overt consequences on human health have been reported and/or substantiated in the peer-reviewed literature.”

• The Royal Society of Medicine

• The World Health Organization

In fact, after the European Union spent ten years and hundreds of millions of Euros to exhaustively examine GMOs, EU researchers determined that: “The main conclusion to be drawn from the efforts of more than 130 research projects, covering a period of more than 25 years of research, and involving more than 500 independent research groups, is that biotechnology, and in particular GMOs, are not per se more risky than e.g. conventional plant breeding technologies.”

Furthermore, the Genetic Literacy Project recently reported on a new paper that catalogued over 1,700 GMO studies, and, combined with previous research, concluded that: “In short, genetically modified foods are among the most extensively studied scientific subjects in history. This year celebrates the 30th anniversary of GM technology, and the paper’s conclusion is unequivocal: there is no credible evidence that GMOs pose any unique threat to the environment or the public’s health. The reason for the public’s distrust of GMOs lies in psychology, politics and false debates.”

“Beyond spreading fear, bad science and bad business ideas, the anti-GMO crowd is also directly responsible for human suffering,” said Danhof. “Western activists, who have likely never had to miss a meal in their lives, perpetuate panic that reverberates through the developing world and conflagrates dire hunger situations worldwide.”

India is a prime example of the devastation wrought by anti-GMO crusaders. To combat malnutrition and Vitamin-A deficiencies prevalent in India, Syngenta created a product called Golden Rice that inserts genes from carrots into rice. The product was tested, found safe and ready to go in 2002 – but the protests of fear-mongering activists have prevented it from coming to market. Two agricultural economists published a study showing the effect of this unnecessary delay.

As noted in Scientific American, “the delayed application of Golden Rice in India alone has cost 1,424,000 life years since 2002. That odd sounding metric – not just lives but ‘life years’ – accounts not only for those who died, but also for the blindness and other health disabilities that Vitamin A deficiency causes. The majority of those who went blind or died because they did not have access to Golden Rice were children.”

Tomorrow’s meeting marks the third occasion in 2014 that the National Center has urged corporate shareholders to reject an anti-GMO proposal. In both prior meetings, the respective shareholders sided with the National Center and against anti-GMO proponents.

“It is not a stretch to say that anti-GMO activists such as Harriett Crosby, Friends of the Earth, the Green Century Equity Fund, Vandana Shiva and others have blood on their hands. And its the blood of children no less,” noted Danhof. “General Mills shareholders should not join this anti-science morally bankrupt bunch.”

The National Center’s Free Enterprise Project is the nation’s preeminent free-market corporate activist group. In 2013, Free Enterprise Project representatives participated in 33 shareholder meetings advancing free-market ideals in the areas of health care, energy, taxes, subsidies, regulations, religious freedom, media bias, gun rights and many other important public policy issues. Tomorrow’s meeting will mark the 52nd shareholder meeting of 2014 for the National Center.

The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations, and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active recent contributors.

Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated.

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Bloomberg Anti-Smoking Campaign Has Been a Failure for Years: New Government Numbers Prove It

Press Release from the National Center for Public Policy Research:

Government Should Embrace, Not Demonize, E-Cigarettes to Help Smokers Quit

Washington, DC – New York City smoking rates have gone up among adults, again, according to newly-released government numbers.

“This failure in public policy provides the most striking and objective evidence to date showing that Mayor Bloomberg’s aggressive anti-smoking campaign has been ineffective,” said Manhattan-based Jeff Stier, senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research.

The Wall Street Journal reports today that this is “the third straight year that tobacco use has crept up in a metropolis once known for its innovations in getting people to kick the habit, according to government data released Monday.”

The article, by reporter Mara Gay, further says, “City officials and public-health workers blamed a steady drop in funding for anti-tobacco programs for the highest rate of smoking since 2007”

“Actually, I’d beg to differ,” says Stier. “Since 2007, New York City has had some of the most aggressive anti-smoking campaigns anywhere. The city has some of the highest tax rates in the nation, the most restrictions on tobacco displays, and regularly advertises and gives away nicotine gum or patches at taxpayer expense. And New York City spends like a drunken sailor on anti-smoking ads.

Stier argues that it’s not that the city wasn’t spending enough money or that the laws weren’t restrictive enough. Rather, he says, “while Mayor Bloomberg was busy punishing smokers and squandering taxpayer money, the city was among the first to ban the use of e-cigarettes in public places. Yet the emergence of e-cigarettes are perhaps the most promising developments that could help people quit,” says Stier. “But instead of supporting their use to help people quit smoking, the New York City public health establishment spends resources demonizing e-cigarettes and making them less appealing to potential ‘switchers.'”

That is the third straight year smoking rates have increased in New York City, according to the government’s own numbers. This is a big defeat to Mayor Bloomberg on one of his signature issues, Stier says.

“I, for one, am not surprised that the nanny-state approach was ineffective in New York City,” said Stier. “Public health officials should learn a lesson: Put your hands back in your pockets, stop asking for more money and more tax increases for your ineffective policies, and instead show some humility given the new findings.”

Stier says the public health community in New York City and beyond should take heed of the latest numbers and embrace private-sector driven solutions such as e-cigarettes.”

The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations, and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active recent contributors.

Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated.

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California, Oregon Aerosol Spraying continues the Drought 9 11 2014

“There were extremely heavy chemtrails (Geoengineered Aerosols) laid over Northern California, and Oregon, on September 11, 2014. This was done to stop any rain from making it onshore. For some reason, the satellite images were not photoshopped, so we get to see what they are doing every day, in northern California.”<<<Read More>>>

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New Study Confirms Health Plans on Individual Market in 2013 Were Higher Quality than Plans on Exchanges

Study Shows Single 27-Year-Olds and 57-Year-Old Couples had Access to Plans with Better Cost-Sharing and Larger Provider Networks Prior to ObamaCare Exchanges

Claims by President Obama, Ed Schultz and Others that Plans in the Individual Market Were ‘Substandard’ or ‘Crappy’ Do Not Hold Up

Today is Two Months to the Day to Start of ObamaCare’s Next Open Enrollment Period

Washington, DC – The ObamaCare exchanges have reduced the quality of insurance polices when compared to what existed in 2013 on the individual market, says a just-released study from the National Center for Public Policy Research entitled, “Despite ObamaCare Supporters’ Claims, Health Insurance Plans Prior to ObamaCare Exchanges Were Neither ‘Crappy’ Nor ‘Substandard.'”

“When millions of people were losing their health insurance plans in late 2013, ObamaCare supporters claimed those plans were of poor quality, calling them substandard and even ‘crappy’,” said study author Dr. David Hogberg, health care policy analyst at the National Center. “But they never provided any evidence to support those claims. Quite to the contrary, this study shows that in important ways, the plans on the individual market it 2013 were of better quality than those on the ObamaCare exchanges.”

Today is two months to the day before the ObamaCare open enrollment period re-opens on November 15.

The study compared the cost-sharing — i.e., the deductibles and the out-of-pocket maximums — of plans on the individual market in 2013 and on the ObamaCare exchanges in ten major metropolitan areas for a 27-year-old single person and a 57-year-old couple. It also examined the provider networks, comparing the number of health maintenance organization (HMO) plans to preferred provider organizations (PPO) plans in the individual markets and ObamaCare exchanges.

It found:

• There was an average of 33 plans in each area for a 27-year-old on the individual market that had lower premiums and lower or equal deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums than the cheapest plans on the ObamaCare exchanges. Milwaukee, Wisconsin had the most such plans with an average of 68.

• For a 57-year-old couple there was an average of 10 policies in each area that had lower premiums and lower or equal cost-sharing in the 2013 individual market than the cheapest plans on the ObamaCare exchanges. Louisville, Kentucky had the most with an average of 26.

• The ObamaCare exchanges had many more of the restrictive HMO networks in their plans relative to the individual market, an average of 16 more HMO plans for both 27-year-olds and 57-year-olds.

• The less restrictive PPOs were more common in the individual markets, with an average of 32 more plans with PPOs for 27-year-olds and 25 more for 57-year-olds.

“Overall, the ObamaCare exchanges have resulted in a decline in health-plan quality,” said Dr. Hogberg. “Almost no one would consider it an improvement in quality to pay a higher premium and get less out-of-pocket coverage as was the case with policies on the exchange, and few would consider more restrictive networks to be better quality.”

“We can expect quality to continue to decline as long as ObamaCare is in place,” he said.

The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations, and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active recent contributors.

Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated.

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Vaccine Induced Autism: Dr. Mercola Interviews Dr. Andrew Wakefield on His MMR Study

“FACT: Vaccine induced autism is an intentional act of war on Western civilization and anyone else who is in competition with a certain tribe, and truth be told, ALL CHILDREN NOT OF THAT TRIBE ARE DAMAGED BY VACCINATIONS THAT TRIBE FORMULATED FOR THAT SPECIFIC PURPOSE, and the ones damaged most show it as autism. Modern vaccines are weapons of war, pure and simple.” -Jim Stone

“Education should aim at destroying free will, so that, after pupils have left school, they shall be incapable, throughout the rest of their lives, of thinking or acting otherwise than as their schoolmasters would have wished. . . . Diet, injections, and injunctions will combine, from a very early age, to produce the sort of character and the sort of beliefs that the authorities consider desirable, and any serious criticism of the powers that be will become psychologically impossible.” -Bertrand Russell (The Impact of Science on Society, Simon and Schuster , New York, 1953, p. 50. )

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