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 HealthCare.gov 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 Healthcare.gov 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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Luckily for Obama and the democrats, all of their voters are too stupid to figure out how to open a round door knob, much less anything else.

Wino on November 5, 2013 at 8:23 AM

And I can’t wait until the employee mandate kicks in.

The effect must be a doozy if they felt they had to postpone its implementation.

NavyMustang on November 5, 2013 at 8:31 AM

America you’ve been punked. Love, O

brads01 on November 5, 2013 at 8:47 AM

Great 1/2 White Chief In Washington D.C. Speak With Forked Soul.

Welcome to the Reservation way.

They tell you there was a vote.

They counted the votes.

They paid the voters.

They are the votes.

You not so much.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on November 5, 2013 at 9:09 AM

When the first child with a serious cancer in St. Louis is denied access to care at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, a place where the most advanced pediatric care in the midwest is available, all hell is going to break loose. That will probably happen about January 2nd when the media goes back to work and all those who bought “coverage” on the exchanges figure out it isn’t covered and they will have to take their chances at the lessor local hospitals. Obama is going to be faced with a daily onslaught of stories of cancer patients whose “coverage” doesn’t include access to local care that could provide a cure. He was right, there won’t be death panels, only death sentences. If you like your cancer, you can keep it. He’s not lying about that.

flyoverland on November 5, 2013 at 9:12 AM

“War room” is perfect. This man has been at war with America his entire life. The official declaration of it was in January 2009.

rrpjr on November 5, 2013 at 9:15 AM

Murphy9 on November 4, 2013 at 6:11 PM

Thanks for the various links. My description of what I read on those, is Hellish. Can’t think of another word to describe this.

bluefox on November 5, 2013 at 9:17 AM

While I am happy that this turd is tanking, I’m also scared to death about what my employer provided insurance is going to do in 2015. GAWD, I hate what liberals and Obummer have done to us. But old news, I know. What will it take to fight back?

samazf on November 5, 2013 at 9:21 AM

Their answer will be that those “expensive” providers are greedy – “we’re intervening on behalf of the consumer by keeping them out … in the long run, this keeps your cost down.”

And people will buy it.

BD57 on November 5, 2013 at 9:23 AM

“War room” is perfect. This man has been at war with America his entire life. The official declaration of it was in January 2009.

rrpjr on November 5, 2013 at 9:15 AM

Well “The Kremlin” would have been gauche. Still its the ultimate amp in rhetoric. All things being equal in unicornland, that should reveal B as the b!tch he is.
Your rules B. DHS should have you pinned to the floor this very minute.

onomo on November 5, 2013 at 9:24 AM

Thanks AP for staying on top of this abomination as more and more info comes out.

In addition to the shrinking Networks, there are other concerns connected with this.

Coverage is now by County, and as a result, many Policies do not have OUT OF NETWORK coverage!!!

From what I’ve read, the best way to get info is to read/contact the Insurance Company’s site to see what is covered and add’l details.

bluefox on November 5, 2013 at 9:51 AM

This also seems like fertile ground for criminal activity (beyond that taken by the regime). It’s a huge playing field. I can only imagine that it’s quite attractive to the criminal element…particularly organized crime. I wonder how they will take advantage of us.

freedomfirst on November 5, 2013 at 10:18 AM

Thanks for the various links. My description of what I read on those, is Hellish. Can’t think of another word to describe this.

bluefox on November 5, 2013 at 9:17 AM

NP, just trying to get the info out,

Murphy9 on November 5, 2013 at 10:25 AM

So far of all the cancelled policy/price/deductible increase horror stories I’ve read, the comparable Obamacare exchange plans have been made to “bronze level” with enormous price/deductible increases. I have yet to see a price/deductible level comparison story to Silver, Gold, etc.

Those numbers must be astronomical…

PatriotRider on November 5, 2013 at 10:36 AM

Ghostbusters

Those numbers must be astronomical…

PatriotRider on November 5, 2013 at 10:36 AM

Indeed

Plus, NO moochers on TV – they’re all enrolled…Medicare/Medicaid and whatever other ‘free’ ‘care’ plan.

Work harder (not just you PatriotRider, all taxpayers). The looters/moochers need more freebies.

Schadenfreude on November 5, 2013 at 10:50 AM

So confused.

If the core plans are based on the lowest-common denominator, then maternity care (etc.) would be an option. We know it’s not.

So I thought the program will be one-size-fits-all, which is a true socialized program, but then…

“…there will be fewer options.”

How can it be both? Did they actually design this thing with the goal it be bad for everybody?

(A horse designed by government resembles a camel.)

Tsar of Earth on November 5, 2013 at 10:59 AM

Any chance this ObamaCare web site needs to be on the “Danger Malware” list?

APACHEWHOKNOWS on November 5, 2013 at 10:59 AM

“If you like your cancer, you can keep it.”
“If you like your clogged coronary arteries, you can keep them.”
“Nobody in the government, and nobody under Kathleen Sibelius is going to get between you and your brain tumor. Because it’s your property. And under my administration, nobody’s going to take that tumor away from you!”

–Barack Obama; speech to SEIU workers, March 2014
(Cue applause from gullible, sycophantic crowd)

Weakness is Strength.
Freedom is Slavery.
Ignorance is Wisdom.
All Hail Dear Leader!

orangemtl on November 5, 2013 at 11:00 AM

Some one from Hot Air needs to contact the web site owners and ask them about the “malware” thing.

As they know now that it is a great danger, seems some good lawyers like say Ted Cruz needs to file a law suit , a consumer protection type for the millions of damaged users.

like that

Hit them on the nose.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on November 5, 2013 at 11:02 AM

Yes, shoes will continue to drop. This is not a one-off crisis, like all of his other crises.

My retirement system is silent about the law’s effects, except to say that they will probably get hit by the Cadillac tax and then will raise our premiums to cover it. So that kicks in next year, right after the employer mandate.

It’s gonna get ugly. Either the Dems and liberalism will be defeated en masse, or we will enter a very dark period. I hope the GOP is up to the challenge.

PattyJ on November 5, 2013 at 11:06 AM

Dear Google, Yahoo, AT&T, Bing,

As you know the ObamaCare web site has no correct security.

You should give notice to the public of this problem as you do with all other non secure sites that endanger the public.

Yours true,

Ted Cruz

APACHEWHOKNOWS on November 5, 2013 at 11:08 AM

Nurses can treat many concerns but they’re not physicians. It’s a case of “socialization” with patients versus a person with a far more overtly developed education.

Many a nurse is a great practitioner clinically but there’s no comparison with the educational differences between nurses and MDs.

Lourdes on November 4, 2013 at 6:13 PM

A former neighbor of mine was a bored rich housewife and decided to go back to school to get a nurse practitioner’s license. Took her only two years of study at a mediocre local university and she joined my doctor’s practice. This woman is a total airhead and is doing this work only to keep herself busy. This is what we are going to have delivering primary health care to most of us before long.

There will also be a forced switch from M.D. anesthesiologists to nurse anesthetists who do not have 1/4 the training of a M.D. My father was an anesthesiologist and I know how much work they put in making sure the patient is ready for surgery, monitoring them suring surgery, and following up afterward. But they bill twice what a nurse does, so they will be out of work in a few more years. And people will die as a result of bad anesthesia, overdoses and underdoses, botched spinals, incorrect monitoring of patients’ blood chemistry, etc.

rockmom on November 5, 2013 at 11:10 AM

Good old class action lawsuit:

We the People vs The evil impire of the ObamaCare web site.

Say $2 Trillion dollars.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on November 5, 2013 at 11:11 AM

“You can have your healthcare in any color you want, as long as its black”

~Henry “Hussein” Ford

BobMbx on November 5, 2013 at 11:12 AM

So far of all the cancelled policy/price/deductible increase horror stories I’ve read, the comparable Obamacare exchange plans have been made to “bronze level” with enormous price/deductible increases. I have yet to see a price/deductible level comparison story to Silver, Gold, etc.

Those numbers must be astronomical…

PatriotRider on November 5, 2013 at 10:36 AM

They are. A few weeks ago when the actual price list was found to be accessible online without signing up for an account, and was posted on several blogs, I checked the rates for my county for a family plan. The Bronze plan was around $600 a month, the Silver was $900 and the Gold was over $1300. My current plan is less than $400 a month and has only a $500 deductible and $15 copay for office visits. None of the Obamacare plans have this; the lowest deductible in the Gold plan is $1500 and $30 copay.

rockmom on November 5, 2013 at 11:15 AM

So far of all the cancelled policy/price/deductible increase horror stories I’ve read, the comparable Obamacare exchange plans have been made to “bronze level” with enormous price/deductible increases. I have yet to see a price/deductible level comparison story to Silver, Gold, etc.

Those numbers must be astronomical…

PatriotRider on November 5, 2013 at 10:36 AM

What county and state do you live in? I’ll post your numbers. To keep it shorter, what sort of policy do you want? Family, single, etc?

BobMbx on November 5, 2013 at 11:30 AM

Agreed about the downgrading of treatment. It will work for most people–mine knows I get sinus infections so treats me–but others will die from bad anesthesia or missed diagnoses.

File under “omelette, eggs._

PattyJ on November 5, 2013 at 2:00 PM

We have dirty lousy scumbags in high office. Obama is a scumbag of the lowest and highest order.

Sherman1864 on November 5, 2013 at 4:37 PM

Comment pages: 1 2