Author Topic: CNN: ObamaCare “war room” worried about reaction when some enrollees figure out they can’t keep their doctors  (Read 555 times)

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Offline mystery-ak

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CNN: ObamaCare “war room” worried about reaction when some enrollees figure out they can’t keep their doctors
posted at 6:01 pm on November 4, 2013 by Allahpundit

This is the big unexploded landmine in the ObamaCare mine field. There have been little booms about it here and there — the NYT story last week about rural counties suffering under O-Care is one, as was that U.S. News story about high-end hospitals being excluded from many plans on the exchanges — but it hasn’t fully detonated yet. That’s because most consumers are still comparison-shopping for plans, which means cost is foremost in their minds right now. Not until next year, after they’ve received their new coverage and begun making doctor appointments, will they start focusing on the shrinking size of their provider networks. It’s one thing to be told that you need to pay a higher premium and deductible because you’re getting more “comprehensive” insurance. It’s another to be told that the “comprehensiveness” you’re paying for includes a less comprehensive network than you used to have under your old, ahem, “cut-rate” plan. That was the whole point of the op-ed by Edie Sundby that everyone’s linking today, in fact. Sundby’s complaint wasn’t that the price of her insurance has skyrocketed, it was that she was essentially being forced to choose between her doctor and her hospital because she couldn’t find a plan in California whose network included both. If you like your doctor, you can’t necessarily keep him/her.

This is going to blow up. Not just yet — website woes and rate shock are of more immediate media concern — but it’s coming and the White House knows it.

    Officials expressed concern that the next shoe to drop in the evolving story about the Affordable Care Act would be disappointment from consumers once they are able to get on the troubled website – disappointment because of sticker shock and limited choice, according to a new document obtained by CNN.

    “Mike described a general concern of PM (Project Management): getting to the point where the website is functioning properly and individuals begin to select plans; the media attention will follow individuals to plan selection and their ultimate choices; and, in some cases, there will be fewer options than would be desired to promote consumer choice and an ideal shopping experience. Additionally, in some cases there will be relatively high cost plans,” say the notes from the Obama administration’s Obamacare ‘War Room’ from one week ago…

    Other notes from the war room meeting describe specific “problem plans,” and a problem with the site that prevents certification, perhaps due to a misspelling on the website.

The NYT had a nice explainer back in late September anticipating the problem of shrinking networks. It’s a byproduct of rate shock, actually: In addition to taxpayer subsidies, one way to keep the cost of plans offered on the exchange down is to exclude more expensive providers from a plan’s network. That’s not a terrible thing for the demographic targeted by ObamaCare, i.e. “young healthies” whose premiums will be used by insurers to cover the cost of others’ preexisting conditions. If you’re healthy and don’t go to the doctor much, who cares how big your network is? Some people do care, though — e.g., people who live in rural areas where the only hospital within 30 miles might no longer accept their plan and people like Sundby, who have very good reason to prefer a particular doctor or hospital. In fact, making their provider networks nice and small might be a sly way for insurers to discourage Sundby and others with expensive preexisting conditions from enrolling in their plans. They’re required by law to allow her to enroll if she tries, but make the provider network small enough and she won’t.

The point, though, is that horror stories about people losing their doctors en masse are still to come and the White House is preparing for them. Which makes me wonder: Given all the political agony that’s in store for red-state Democrats up for reelection next year, how much longer can they afford to stand by the law? Even if the website’s fixed tomorrow, they’re staring at a parade of horribles well into 2014. Rate shock is the story now; the next story will be whether O-Care can possibly hit its enrollment targets in order to make the program sustainable. (This assumes that will begin operating smoothly soon. If it doesn’t, the next story will be all about Democratic panic and Obama’s bad options in minimizing the damage from a busted enrollment drive.) The next story after that will be people outraged at how their provider networks have shrunk. After that comes the March 31, 2014 deadline for enrollment; will the administration reach its target on that or will the deadline be extended, raising the risk of an adverse selection problem for insurers? And then, as a cherry on top, after a long summer of the GOP showcasing ObamaCare nightmare stories, insurers will release the 2015 rates next October and there’ll be a new flood of small-business employees agonizing publicly about how high the premiums are on their new exchange-bought plans. It’s nothing but sh*t sandwiches for Senate Dems until next November. How long before they lose their appetites?

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Offline Relic

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There is a saying: People will get used to hanging, if they do it long enough.

I honestly believe that Americans are so stupid, they'll complain, and accept it, just like they do the weather.

Offline Chieftain

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Good article and it asks a good question:  Just how long does the Administration think they can force this jalopy to run??

What's beginning to happen is that the White House is demonizing insurance companies and blaming them for cancelling policies, and ridiculing anyone who asks a reasonable question as an extremist, Tea Party member, Republican, or just plain evil.  They are even going after a cancer patient in California who dared go public with her story.  The press that has been carrying water for Obama for years is shocked to find their senior correspondents mocked in public at formal press briefings, and every single network and news organization in the world has a 2 minute video clip of Obama repeating his outright lies about Obamacare in virtually every single speech he has made in the last five years.

This is what is commonly referred to in News parlance as a "target rich environment".  Many in the media have spent decades desperately trying to manufacture material on Republicans, and suddenly find themselves in s Democratic scandal that is bigger than anything Nixon ever did, and that too many people are being directly effected by all of this for it to just die away in the news cycle like Benghazi, Syria, Iran, terrorism, et al.

This is not going to go away, and in fact it is going to continue to get much, much worse, because not only was Obama & Co. incapable of designing something of this magnitude, they are also incapable of admitting defeat on any level and will continue to insist that the site remain up and "operating" no matter what.  Obama will not voluntarily admit to any mistake and he will never back down from his "signature" issue.

But the longer Obama insists this go on, and the longer he is allowed to do so by the Congress, the worst the damage to the economy and to very real American people numbering in the millions will be.  No matter how this turns out it there is going to be a terrible personal cost to be paid by millions of people, some of them with their lives. 

And putting Republicans in charge will solve nothing.

Offline Relic

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And putting Republicans in charge will solve nothing.

And there you have it. That really is the situation. Democrats are making a mess, as they usually do. But, there is no steady hand available in the form of a unified Republican party.

Corrupt, inept politicians, a horrifically stupid public, and a biased media that makes Pravda blush.

It's surreal to see all the negatives and then observe the people around me who are totally, completely unconcerned.

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