AP: So, about Obama’s health-insurance rebate claims…

posted at 11:41 am on July 19, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

The White House apparently felt compelled to try and counteract what they categorized as more undue and unruly grousing from the House of Representatives this week, which is why the president was playing some very obvious defense on the ostensible awesomeness that is the “Affordable” Care Act on Thursday and talking up the benefits that Americans should soon begin to witness raining down like manna from heaven.

Except that one of the biggest “benefits” of which the president spoke, and that the Democrats, Organizing for Action, et. al. have been touting hard in their respective arguments and advertisements, is the rebates that ObamaCare is going to begin bestowing upon Americans via the medical loss ratio rule. The law deems that “inefficient,” wanton insurance companies that spend less 80 percent of premiums on actual medical care (as opposed to administrative and other costs) must rebate the difference back to their customers — and as the president and others have reminded us, Americans have already begun to see those checks in the mail.

In his remarks, President Obama made some very conspicuous efforts to make those rebates sound a lot bigger and cooler than they actually are; the president’s “Americans saved $3.4 billion in premiums,” as Glenn Kessler at WaPo noted with a pinochhio, is a bit of a stretch, and the Associated Press straight-up called the president out for of crafty misrepresentation:

Obama was on solid ground in saying “millions of Americans” got rebate checks last year, but the number was not close to 13 million as he implied.

Of the 12.8 million rebates announced last year, health policy experts estimated 3 million would go directly to the insured. The government didn’t know how many.

Nearly two-thirds of the 12.8 million were only entitled to pro-rated and decidedly modest rebates, because they were covered by employers that pay most of their premiums. Workers typically pay about 20 percent of the premium for single coverage, 30 percent for a family plan. Employers pay the rest. …

Altogether, this year’s rebates are worth $500 million, down from $1.1 billion returned last year.

Question: Why, oh why is it turning out to be so much darn work to convince Americans that this law is as amazing as they say it is?


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Hilarious

Schadenfreude on July 19, 2013 at 11:48 AM

Question: Why, oh why is it turning out to be so much darn work to convince Americans that this law is as amazing as they say it is?

Because Obama is the Liar in Chief.

Schadenfreude on July 19, 2013 at 11:49 AM

You mean Obama lied?

Say it ain’t so!!

Bitter Clinger on July 19, 2013 at 11:50 AM

Americans are boshe? I don’t like to think they are just plain ole stupid. ; )

Bmore on July 19, 2013 at 11:50 AM

Uh Oh: Obamacare Exchanges May Also be Delayed

Schadenfreude on July 19, 2013 at 11:50 AM

Well except for that pesky 21% that absolutely are.

Bmore on July 19, 2013 at 11:51 AM

If only the American people would just STFU and let me run their lives for them, everything wouldn’t be so darn difficult! – Barack Obama

Charlemagne on July 19, 2013 at 11:52 AM

I’m hoping and praying that OK prevails in their suit against the IRS providing subsidies through federal exchanges in contravention of Obamacare’s explicit language that only state exchanges can do so. If they win, Obamacare will collapse.

Charlemagne on July 19, 2013 at 11:54 AM

Well except for that pesky 21% that absolutely are.

Bmore on July 19, 2013 at 11:51 AM

It’s 51-52%, my friend, and don’t ever forget it. YOU will pay for the consequences.

Schadenfreude on July 19, 2013 at 11:56 AM

I got one of those rebate checks — it was for less than six dollars.

This entire Administration has been about over-promising and under-delivering. There’s a short adrenalin rush, then followed by massive disappointment.

bobs1196 on July 19, 2013 at 11:57 AM

13 million of 300 million insured get rebates equals 4% of population

…individuals who will actually see the checks in their hands is 1%. Average amount of $100, where their premiums probably increased $1k in a year.

AND THAT IS A VICTORY FOR OBAMACARE?

Mathtards!

hillsoftx on July 19, 2013 at 11:58 AM

Question: Why, oh why is it turning out to be so much darn work to convince Americans that this law is as amazing as they say it is?

Clearly, it’s the fault of those evil, lying, racist, obstructionist Republicans. If they’d just bend over and accept what’s going to happen, it wouldn’t hurt nearly as much. And it’s the Republicans fault for forcing the Democrats to do this to them.

Chris of Rights on July 19, 2013 at 11:59 AM

Apparently none of you read Paul Krugman. He would set you straight.

NotCoach on July 19, 2013 at 12:01 PM

Won’t these refunds disappear when the high risk individuals are brought into these insurance pools via government mandate?

blammm on July 19, 2013 at 12:01 PM

I can’t wait for the first Democrat suggestion of jail for opponents of ObamaCare. Re-education camps. Fines. Two minutes of hate.

Something along those lines is what they’d love to suggest, you just know it, even if they lack the cojones to follow through.

MTF on July 19, 2013 at 12:04 PM

Won’t these refunds disappear when the high risk individuals are brought into these insurance pools via government mandate?

blammm on July 19, 2013 at 12:01 PM

Probably not. The increased costs will be paid for by you in soaring premiums. Insurance companies will attempt to ride the knife’s edge and probably continue to give small rebates for as long as this law exists.

NotCoach on July 19, 2013 at 12:05 PM

I don’t think this viewpoint(http://www.nationalreview.com/article/350047/obamacare-oklahoma-leads-editors) has gotten the attention it deserves.

If subsidies are not available to states who have not set up the exchanges, then the businesses and individuals are not subject to the taxes, is, I believe, what is being said here.

If this is true, imagine the migration of businesses and people to states that have refused to set up the exchanges.

questionmark on July 19, 2013 at 12:07 PM

Hey, just found out that, under ObamaCare, every individual between the ages of 15 and 65 will be automatically tested for HIV.

Yeah, and the flaming morons at ThinkProgress think this is SUCH a great idea!

It’s just FABULOUS, they all opine, that now everyone will be automatically HIV-tested, because

“20 percent of HIV-positive Americans are currently unaware they have the virus.”

Um. Excuse me? Where did this figure come from? How do these IDIOTS come up with such a number?

And, how happy will those people be to discover that their name is now under “positive” in some government database RUN BY THE IRS!

mountainaires on July 19, 2013 at 12:07 PM

Americans have already begun to see those checks in the mail.

And we win somehow?

The sheep will see their check and know it came from Dems.

faraway on July 19, 2013 at 12:09 PM

The law deems that “inefficient,” wanton insurance companies that spend less 80 percent of premiums on actual medical care (as opposed to administrative and other costs) must rebate the difference back to their customers — and as the president and others have reminded us, Americans have already begun to see those checks in the mail.

When can we start applying this arbitrary 80% of spending must go to actual service number on our government?

If we can hold private companies to this standard, certainly we should be within our rights as citizens to hold our government to the same standard.

Could you imagine the outrage from Democrats if we demanded that the Federal Highway Administration spend 80% of the budget on actual highways? I would guess that the FHWA currently spends greater than 20% on personnel alone.

weaselyone on July 19, 2013 at 12:09 PM

obama puts Muenchhausen, Pinocchio, Machiavelli and Orwell to shame.

Schadenfreude on July 19, 2013 at 12:10 PM

The health care law requires insurance companies that spend too much on administrative expenses to issue rebates to customers.

Why doesn’t the government demand this of all companies? That would win some votes.

On second thought, what a pity we can’t apply this standard to the federal government itself.

Drained Brain on July 19, 2013 at 12:11 PM

Yeah but under President Odummer – everything is costing more.

Because that is what Marxism is all about…..

Odummer wants the people to give up everything so the almighty state can take over their puny, wretched lives.

redguy on July 19, 2013 at 12:17 PM

Brayam will be along shortly to edjumacate you wingnutz on why you’re all wrong..

fortcoins on July 19, 2013 at 12:18 PM

There should be a law… if any politician lies during the course of his or her job, they are to go to jail immediately for 6 months.

Congress, the Senate and the White House would be empty.

sadatoni on July 19, 2013 at 12:18 PM

HIV tests are now required as part of routine preventative services which are required under ObamaCare as part of preventative health. And, the IRS will be managing your health-care, and seeing to it that you comply with the new requirements. And, yes; there will be a database.

“The experts on the U.S. Preventative Task Force, a government-backed panel of scientists and medical professionals, are now recommending that every American between the ages of 15 and 65 be tested for HIV. Since the Affordable Care Act requires insurers to cover the preventative services that are recommended by the task force, regular HIV testing will now be covered under Obamacare as a routine part of a check-up.”

mountainaires on July 19, 2013 at 12:22 PM

I got one of those rebate checks — it was for less than six dollars.

This entire Administration has been about over-promising and under-delivering. There’s a short adrenalin rush, then followed by massive disappointment.

bobs1196 on July 19, 2013 at 11:57 AM

If some bureaucrat spent 10 minutes typing a letter and mailing it to you, it cost the taxpayers more than double that amount.

It’s just FABULOUS, they all opine, that now everyone will be automatically HIV-tested, because

“20 percent of HIV-positive Americans are currently unaware they have the virus.”
Um. Excuse me? Where did this figure come from? How do these IDIOTS come up with such a number?

How could they come up with ANY number for this if millions of people have never been tested for HIV?

Steve Z on July 19, 2013 at 12:25 PM

The police state thugs/goons

Schadenfreude on July 19, 2013 at 12:42 PM

And, how happy will those people be to discover that their name is now under “positive” in some government database RUN BY THE IRS!

mountainaires on July 19, 2013 at 12:07 PM

If they voted for Democrats, no one will care.

AesopFan on July 19, 2013 at 12:47 PM

Typically, insurance companies retain moneys in excess of costs to provide a buffer should they suddenly get hit with unexpected losses.

So what will King Barry say when insurance companies suddenly bump up rates to cover unexpected increases in costs and they have no buffer to contain those costs?

GarandFan on July 19, 2013 at 12:47 PM

When can we start applying this arbitrary 80% of spending must go to actual service number on our government?

If we can hold private companies to this standard, certainly we should be within our rights as citizens to hold our government to the same standard.

weaselyone on July 19, 2013 at 12:09 PM

Finally, a piece of legislation we can all approve of!

AesopFan on July 19, 2013 at 12:49 PM

Someone needs to photo shop This creepy Jim Messina Pic and put a dunce cap on him. Same for Obama.

Key West Reader on July 19, 2013 at 12:50 PM

mountainaires on July 19, 2013 at 12:22 PM

From the provided exerpt, I fail to see mention of ‘forced HIV testing’. I do see that a ‘panel’ ‘recommends’ testing and that the cost of testing will be covered.

Did you fail to provide the info or this (‘forced HIV testing’) not true?

Carnac on July 19, 2013 at 12:50 PM

Let’s see, my premiums have been skyrocketing ever since the cynically named “Affordable” Care Act was passed. I just got a small check back from my insurance company because of some petty punitive measure built into Obamacare. Many of us are not fooled by this stunt. Thanks but no thanks, Bamster. I would have saved a lot more money if you hadn’t messed with my healthcare in the first place, you idiot.

Fallon on July 19, 2013 at 12:55 PM

Well, I’m one of those lucky few who got a whopping $100+ rebate, Wooo Hooo!

Problem is, a week later I got a notice from my insurance company that my premium for the coming year will be about $2,400 more than this year, a >30% increase.

So, the rat-eared, dog-eating, prevaricating sack o’ sh!t has lied once again about his corrupt health insurance “benefits”.

TXUS on July 19, 2013 at 12:57 PM

I confess I still don’t understand whether the costs of new/changed systems for health care integration (PCMH and ACO models), EHR, etc., count against the medical loss ratio cap. It would seem pretty counterproductive to enforce a cap at a time when insurers are having to make so many administrative and systems changes in response to a law where the rulemakings aren’t even nearly complete.

DrSteve on July 19, 2013 at 1:04 PM

Brayam will be along shortly to edjumacate you wingnutz on why you’re all wrong..

fortcoins on July 19, 2013 at 12:18 PM

I’ll never understand why our Canadian trolls keep pushing Obamacare. It doesn’t matter to them except that the US system is a safety valve for when the Canadian socialist system fails them.

It also does Canada no good for the USA to become bankrupt.

slickwillie2001 on July 19, 2013 at 1:17 PM

Of the 12.8 million rebates announced last year, health policy experts estimated 3 million would go directly to the insured. The government didn’t know how many.

And 146,784 of them went to the same address in Atlanta.

BobMbx on July 19, 2013 at 1:19 PM

I’ll never understand why our Canadian trolls keep pushing Obamacare. It doesn’t matter to them except that the US system is a safety valve for when the Canadian socialist system fails them.

It also does Canada no good for the USA to become bankrupt.

slickwillie2001 on July 19, 2013 at 1:17 PM

The free Canadian prescription drugs all come from the US. When the US drug manufacturers go out of business, Canadians will begin to die.

Slick, we’re already bankrupt by any standard.

BobMbx on July 19, 2013 at 1:22 PM

As usual his “money quote” was on all the news shows, the correction …crickets. This is how the game is played.

Whiterock on July 19, 2013 at 1:50 PM

My insurance has gone up 55% since the in the middle of the night passage of the cACA bill. I got a rebate of almost 2% of one months premium. Also, I will lose my coverage that I have had for 17 years because my insurer is pulling out of Kalifornia.

To summarize:

1. My premiums did not go down 3000% but have skyrocketed.
2. I will no longer have the plan I liked.

I’m not calling 0bama a liar, he just does not tell the truth or anything within a 100 miles of the truth.

jukin3 on July 19, 2013 at 2:03 PM

I’m hoping and praying that OK prevails in their suit against the IRS providing subsidies through federal exchanges in contravention of Obamacare’s explicit language that only state exchanges can do so. If they win, Obamacare will collapse.

Charlemagne on July 19, 2013 at 11:54 AM

Then guess what… they won’t win.

Midas on July 19, 2013 at 2:58 PM

I pay $1800.00 a month and I haven’t seen jack sh*t!

F_This on July 19, 2013 at 3:34 PM

If this is true, imagine the migration of businesses and people to states that have refused to set up the exchanges.

questionmark on July 19, 2013 at 12:07 PM

This info is good to know and may be helpful to those States that are on the fence about it.

I think I’ll email this to my State Rep & Senator. I call many other U.S. House & Senate members, but can’t usually email them if I’m not in their State.

bluefox on July 19, 2013 at 3:48 PM

I pay $1800.00 a month and I haven’t seen jack sh*t!

F_This on July 19, 2013 at 3:34 PM

A month? Oh, I just cannot imagine. Whenever this government talks about the “evil rich”, they always exclude themselves. If we don’t get this repealed, Benghazi/IRS etc won’t matter.

Issa loves to hold hearings and I ask, what difference does it make? None. He could have the top officials confess under oath and he wouldn’t do a thing. Bark, bark, bark is all they do but never bite.

I’m so sick of everyone of them. I’m sure you are sicker tho.

bluefox on July 19, 2013 at 3:56 PM

M. Stanton Evans has taken the time to delve into the belly of this beast Obamacare. It is 4 pages. If you don’t have time to read it now, at least bookmark it to read later. We haven’t heard of most all of what he’s discovered. It’s worse than we thought.

http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials-perspective/071713-664096-immigration-bill-filled-with-millions-special-interests-webhedand160-immigration-bill-millions-in-slush-funds-to-special-interests.htm?fromcampaign=1

One comment from the article:

Thank you, Mr. Evans for reading this bill and for your article! Any Republican who voted in the Senate for anything in this despicable bill, designed solely to benefit the traitors of America, should become politically dead to all GOP voters — no excuse is acceptable — NONE. The same goes for any Republican who votes for any part of this bill in the House. In fact, this bill, written in total by traitors, should be dead on arrival in the House.

bluefox on July 19, 2013 at 3:58 PM

Yeah, my company got a check and, like Obama said, it was about $100 or about $10 per insured. Now with all this extra Obamacare money, our biggest problem is deciding if we want the white exterior/wine interior, black/tan or black/grey. One of my managers thinks black/tan is just too difficult to keep clean, but then she has little kids. Damn you Obama for causing all these difficult decisions for we, your minions, with all your generous rebates!!!!

deepdiver on July 19, 2013 at 4:42 PM

I propose that all gov’t agencies except Defense provide the same return for taxpayers that is only 20% of their budgets go to overhead including pension costs and let’s see the efficiency.

tim c on July 19, 2013 at 5:00 PM

The media only reports the amazingly O-positive B.S.

It’s a rebate… of Money!

The devilish details are shuffled quietly away.

profitsbeard on July 20, 2013 at 1:01 AM

If Obamuh says there’s a check in their hands, by golly, they see a check in their empty hands.

stukinIL4now on July 20, 2013 at 1:05 AM