Video: Alabama widows kicked off of insurance because of ObamaCare

posted at 8:41 am on April 17, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

WHNT in Alabama brings us another example of the law of unintended consequences. Widows of former Madison County employees had continued health-insurance coverage thanks to the self-insurance policies carried by Madison County — or at least they did until January 1. The imposition of ObamaCare coverage mandates forced the county to drop its coverage or pay an additional $25 million a year.  The end result? Widows got kicked out of their coverage (via Daniel Halper at TWS):

The widows who were dropped in January had always been covered under the county’s old self-insured health care plan. But officials told WHNT News 19 that the program had to be abandoned when they were informed that new mandates in Obamacare would amount to an extra $25 million per year, money that Madison County Chairman Dale Strong said the county simply doesn’t have. Instead, commissioners decided to join a statewide insurance network that 50 other county governments also participate in.

“In joining with this large group, it does not provide for spouses when their husbands die or their wives die,” said Strong. “So that’s where we are, how do we do this.”

Commissioners reviewed their options at Wednesday’s work session, but a clear answer has yet to emerge. Jones said he’ll continue to push for reinstatement, but Chairman Strong said other factors will have to be considered.

WHNT ends with this curious note:

Widows of retired county employees still receive 18 months of Cobra coverage after their regular health insurance coverage expires.

That’s true, but only if the plan is still in place, and only if they can afford to pay the full price for it. If the plan no longer exists, and the new plan doesn’t include eligibility for spouses or widows, it’s not clear how COBRA would work for them. Even if they had access to a different plan through COBRA, it will be both more expensive overall and much more expensive for the widows as COBRA requires consumers to pay the full retail price for those plans. (I used COBRA for nearly 18 months myself after leaving my former career to work full time in new media.) If they are on fixed incomes already and on the edge of poverty, as these commissioners note, then COBRA will be nothing more than a bitter joke to these widows.

This is, of course, an anecdote involving just one county and a few dozen widows. How many other counties — and businesses — had to make this same decision? How many other widows got the shaft this year?


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Why pop up now? You’ve been MIA for over 50 threads on the Oboobi care meltdown and no you show up to defend a socialist who going to do Seattle what Oboobi did to healthcare. That’s rich.
 
AH_C on November 16, 2013 at 6:54 PM

 
Yeah, that is a mess. Really screwed the pooch, though there’s not much to argue about. They need to fix software and get on with it. The rest (on both sides) is just noise.
 
urban elitist on November 16, 2013 at 7:05 PM

rogerb on April 17, 2014 at 8:46 AM

Isn’t thus actually because AL didn’t expand Medicaid as they were supposed to?

libfreeordie on April 17, 2014 at 8:47 AM

But it’s the Rethuglicans who want people to die quickly, or at least that’s what the Rats keep on braying.

Steve Eggleston on April 17, 2014 at 8:47 AM

How many other widows got the shaft this year?

!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just proves a bunch of perverts in this administration will screw anybody.

Yoop on April 17, 2014 at 8:55 AM

Or as the Huffington post informed me on my Roku box in this morning’s “news” evil republicans want to deny Obamacare’s success. I couldn’t find the remote fast enough to switch that BS off.

Mini-14 on April 17, 2014 at 8:56 AM

Isn’t thus actually because AL didn’t expand Medicaid as they were supposed to?
 
libfreeordie on April 17, 2014 at 8:47 AM

 
“Supposed to”?
 
They’re only adhering to the law you passed, professor.
 
Congratulations from the widows, btw.

rogerb on April 17, 2014 at 8:57 AM

Anecdotal evidence just keeps piling up ref the ‘unintended’ consequences of O’care. Or, are they…?

vnvet on April 17, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Isn’t thus actually because AL didn’t expand Medicaid as they were supposed to?

libfreeordie on April 17, 2014 at 8:47 AM

Why was it necessary to expand Medicaid? Never mind, I’ll answer that…because…Obamacare!!!

Vince on April 17, 2014 at 9:01 AM

Keep voting democrat!

Murphy9 on April 17, 2014 at 9:01 AM

How many other counties — and businesses — had to make this same decision? How many other widows got the shaft this year?

.
Hairy Reid says: “NONE! They are lying! They’re liars! NONE!”

ExpressoBold on April 17, 2014 at 9:03 AM

“Republicans want to take away your health insurance.” -0b00ba

Akzed on April 17, 2014 at 9:05 AM

Clearly this is a bunch of lyin’ Southerners (probably racist as well) and it appears to me the Commission Chairman’s jacket is made from whole cloth. /sarc

NeoDawg on April 17, 2014 at 9:08 AM

Widows who had decent insurance packages, provided by their loved ones before their demise, should be forced into medicaid, a welfare program, because Obamacare has made it too expensive for the county to maintain the health care insurance it promised its employees? Either medicaid… or no coverage at all and forced violation of the law.

This is the LEFT’s brave new world of expanded coverage and better health care for all?

This is the LEFT’s optimal solution for our most fragile citizens, widows, orphans, the disabled and the elderly?

I think this nation can do better. I know it can do better because we always have… until now…until Obamacare.

Repeal Obamacare.

By the way, those 87,000,000 employed who are supporting the 147,000,000 on benefits deserve better than they’re getting from Obamacare and the LEFT.

thatsafactjack on April 17, 2014 at 9:09 AM

…supposed to…
 
libfreeordie on April 17, 2014 at 8:47 AM

 
Come to think of it, that really sums up the (D) feelings on Obamacare, doesn’t it?
 
It’s somebody else’s fault it’s not working, right?
 

Isn’t thus actually because AL didn’t…

 
Ah yes, there it is.
 
Gosh, if only the super smart people were allowed to be super smart when writing and passing their legislation without having to worry about getting (R)s to sign on.

rogerb on April 17, 2014 at 9:09 AM

If you like… oh nevermind.

David Blue on April 17, 2014 at 9:10 AM

The LEFT said that the GOP wanted to ‘push grandma off a cliff’ in a wheelchair in their advertising in the run up to passage of Obamacare.

So Obamacare was passed… and now grandma doesn’t even qualify for that wheelchair…which is ‘durable medical equipment’… much less healthcare.

thatsafactjack on April 17, 2014 at 9:13 AM

Isn’t thus actually because AL didn’t expand Medicaid as they were supposed to?

libfreeordie on April 17, 2014 at 8:47 AM

No, their eligibility for Medicaid is still an option, if they qualify. It is because of the idiotic, ill conceived socialist law that was passed by the Democrats.

rplat on April 17, 2014 at 9:13 AM

Ah yes, there it is.

Gosh, if only the super smart people were allowed to be super smart when writing and passing their legislation without having to worry about getting (R)s to sign on.

rogerb on April 17, 2014 at 9:09 AM

But rogerb don’t those racist neo-confederates know that the feds were going to pay 110% of the states medicaid costs for perpetuity. It’s like free money!

HumpBot Salvation on April 17, 2014 at 9:13 AM

It would have been a lot cheaper for the government to just give uninsurable people a health insurance policy.

Vince on April 17, 2014 at 9:14 AM

It would have been a lot cheaper for the government to just give uninsurable people a health insurance policy.
 
Vince on April 17, 2014 at 9:14 AM

 
No more calls, please, we have a winner.

rogerb on April 17, 2014 at 9:16 AM

Isn’t thus actually because AL didn’t expand Medicaid as they were supposed to?

libfreeordie on April 17, 2014 at 8:47 AM

And who says they were supposed to, Pea Brain?

bimmcorp on April 17, 2014 at 9:16 AM

* Except that wasn’t the goal.

rogerb on April 17, 2014 at 9:16 AM

Absolutely shameless.

These widows would be covered in any state actually implementing obamacare, and these morally bankrupt azzholes are shifting the blame elsewhere for the fact that they are secrrwing millions out of healthcare just to score political points.

Absolutely disgusting.

Republican states screwing millions out of healthcare and trying to blame obama for itt.

Bunch of lying cowards.

everdiso on April 17, 2014 at 9:20 AM

Absolutely shameless.

These widows would be covered in any state actually implementing obamacare, and these morally bankrupt azzholes are shifting the blame elsewhere for the fact that they are secrrwing millions out of healthcare just to score political points.

Absolutely disgusting.

Republican states screwing millions out of healthcare and trying to blame obama for itt.

Bunch of lying cowards.

everdiso on April 17, 2014 at 9:20 AM

ROFLMAO, wow you’re stupid. You own this disaster.

The imposition of ObamaCare coverage mandates forced the county to drop its coverage or pay an additional $25 million a year. The end result? Widows got kicked out of their coverage.

You and your fellow progtards built that. Congrats.

Fukking moron.

HumpBot Salvation on April 17, 2014 at 9:24 AM

“It’s because they’re AlaBAMA, and they had it coming.”

tree hugging sister on April 17, 2014 at 9:25 AM

everdiso on April 17, 2014 at 9:20 AM

Yeah, because we all know that racist Republican states jammed healthcare legislation through by trickery and deceit with no Democrat votes, the evil bastidges.

Seriously, what color is the sky in your world?

cornbred on April 17, 2014 at 9:31 AM

If you like your widows you can keep your widows. They just won’t have insurance.

Mr. Curly on April 17, 2014 at 9:32 AM

Absolutely shameless.

These widows would be covered in any state actually implementing obamacare, and these morally bankrupt azzholes are shifting the blame elsewhere for the fact that they are secrrwing millions out of healthcare just to score political points.

Absolutely disgusting.

Republican states screwing millions out of healthcare and trying to blame obama for itt.

Bunch of lying cowards.

everdiso on April 17, 2014 at 9:20 AM

What a blithering idiot you are, Zippy. Did it ever occur to you that everyone would have been just fine if you hadn’t blown up the entire health care delivery system in a failed effort to provide insurance to less than 1 million previously uninsured people at the expense of 10-15 million Americans who have lost or will lose coverage they were happy with? What kind of a anus sucking douche nozzle are you, anyway??

bimmcorp on April 17, 2014 at 9:32 AM

“It’s because they’re AlaBAMA, and they had it coming.”
tree hugging sister on April 17, 2014 at 9:25 AM

Another butthurt college football fan heard from

cornbred on April 17, 2014 at 9:34 AM

IMPEACH obama NOW!

Pork-Chop on April 17, 2014 at 9:36 AM

shifting the blame elsewhere
 
everdiso on April 17, 2014 at 9:20 AM

 
The widows were fine with their choices until you forced your way into their bedrooms with your coat hanger of healthcare legislation.
 
Congratulations on people obeying your law.

rogerb on April 17, 2014 at 9:37 AM

Republican states screwing millions out of healthcare and trying to blame obama for itt.

Bunch of lying cowards.

everdiso on April 17, 2014 at 9:20 AM

Racist bass turds, aren’t we, Needlenose?

bimmcorp on April 17, 2014 at 9:41 AM

“What difference – at this point, what difference does it make?” oh wait… wrong Obama administration scandal.

Walter L. Newton on April 17, 2014 at 9:43 AM

If they are on fixed incomes already and on the edge of poverty, as these commissioners note, then COBRA will be nothing more than a bitter joke to these widows.

Yeah, COBRA is not cheap. And I have been saying this for a while: those who are poor but getting by on their own are being forced into poverty by obamacare and the donks insane policies.

Blake on April 17, 2014 at 9:43 AM

They need to fix software and get on with it.

If you think software problem is the big disaster, you’ve got some surprises coming.

samueljharris on April 17, 2014 at 9:45 AM

‘LIARS!’
– Harry Reid

easyt65 on April 17, 2014 at 9:47 AM

everdiso on April 17, 2014 at 9:20 AM

One question. If you don’t answer, it’s ok because we all know you don’t have a clue.

Q. Would this have happened if Obamacare wasn’t shoved down our throats?

Vince on April 17, 2014 at 9:47 AM

Isn’t thus actually because AL didn’t expand Medicaid as they were supposed to?

just out of curiosity what does expansion of Medicaid have to do with the county not being able to afford the requirement imposed on it by the ACA?

RonK on April 17, 2014 at 9:51 AM

See you in November, Lib.

itsspideyman on April 17, 2014 at 9:51 AM

Well, its good to see that these “junk policies” are being cancelled and replaced with….well something I’m sure…and besides, no bigger liars in this world than widows. /sarc

dirtseller on April 17, 2014 at 9:55 AM

Isn’t thus actually because AL didn’t expand Medicaid as they were supposed to?

libfreeordie on April 17, 2014 at 8:47 AM

Wow… you make it sound like Medicaid is a good thing. It’s not. It’s about as substandard coverage as you can get. Those advocating for more Medicaid have never seen or tried to help people trying to get actual care with it.

dominigan on April 17, 2014 at 9:59 AM

Unless you have a chronic condition that calls for monthly medical, do not take COBRA. It’s the price of leasing a new car and they are SOB’s to deal with.

You’re much better off doing self-pays/cash. I wish I had back the cash I pissed away on COBRA. It would have saved me a few grand.

budfox on April 17, 2014 at 9:59 AM

They can always re-marry and get covered under the new spouses’ policy.

~Obama

BobMbx on April 17, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Liberals suck….forgive me Lord…

crosshugger on April 17, 2014 at 10:01 AM

Republican states screwing millions out of healthcare and trying to blame obama for itt.

Bunch of lying cowards.

everdiso on April 17, 2014 at 9:20 AM

A brain is like a car, it can only move forward when engaged. Please try reading the article again. The effect IS being caused by Obama’s key healthcare law.

dominigan on April 17, 2014 at 10:06 AM

“Those widows can just take the blue or the red pill to alleviate their compounded case of depression.” – Sincerely, “Lil’ Bammy”

StubbornGreenBurros on April 17, 2014 at 10:11 AM

These and other horror stories won’t bother the “progressives.”

“We didn’t go far enough. All we need to do is implement single-payer and such problems will disappear.”

Drained Brain on April 17, 2014 at 10:16 AM

libfreeordie on April 17, 2014 at 8:47 AM

everdiso on April 17, 2014 at 9:20 AM

Naïve Liberals stuck on illusions.

Access to health insurance doesn’t guarantee access to healthcare, especially when the health insurance is Medicaid.

lineholder on April 17, 2014 at 10:19 AM

Absolutely shameless.

These widows would be covered in any state actually implementing obamacare, and these morally bankrupt azzholes are shifting the blame elsewhere for the fact that they are secrrwing millions out of healthcare just to score political points.

Absolutely disgusting.

Republican states screwing millions out of healthcare and trying to blame obama for itt.

Bunch of lying cowards.

everdiso on April 17, 2014 at 9:20 AM

How?

It sounds like they ARE “actually implementing Obamacare”, and this is the result.

Jeff Weimer on April 17, 2014 at 10:24 AM

Or as the Huffington post informed me on my Roku box in this morning’s “news” evil republicans want to deny Obamacare’s success. I couldn’t find the remote fast enough to switch that BS off.

Mini-14 on April 17, 2014 at 8:56 AM

So why do you even subscribe to the huffing Puffington news link?
Makes me wonder about your sincerity in your post. Sounds like you’re interested in what the huff has to say, yet hate their message. Are you a RINO?

timberline on April 17, 2014 at 10:29 AM

Wonder how many of those “widows” voted for the pos that calls himself potus? Wonder how many would vote for shillary just because she is female.

ultracon on April 17, 2014 at 10:29 AM

Isn’t thus actually because AL didn’t expand Medicaid as they were supposed to?

libfreeordie on April 17, 2014 at 8:47 AM

.
Do we have any commenters in Alabama who can respond to this, from an insider point-of-view?
.
I don’t believe it’s true for a second, but I can’t prove it from where I stand.

listens2glenn on April 17, 2014 at 10:29 AM

The widows who were dropped in January had always been covered under the county’s old self-insured health care plan. But officials told WHNT News 19 that the program had to be abandoned when they were informed that new mandates in Obamacare would amount to an extra $25 million per year, money that Madison County Chairman Dale Strong said the county simply doesn’t have. Instead, commissioners decided to join a statewide insurance network that 50 other county governments also participate in.

Maybe Obamacare says the widows can’t do without birth control?

Lolo on April 17, 2014 at 10:36 AM

Isn’t thus actually because AL didn’t expand Medicaid as they were supposed to?
 
libfreeordie on April 17, 2014 at 8:47 AM

 
Do we have any commenters in Alabama who can respond to this, from an insider point-of-view?
 
I don’t believe it’s true for a second, but I can’t prove it from where I stand.
 
listens2glenn on April 17, 2014 at 10:29 AM

 
There is no “supposed to” involved. That would involve disobeying the law. They’re obeying the law.
 

The Federally-facilitated Marketplace (FFM) will be offering health coverage in Alabama in 2014. The state Medicaid agency has delegated authority to the Marketplace to make determinations of eligibility for Medicaid and CHIP. Alabama is not expanding Medicaid coverage to low-income adults effective January 1, 2014…
 
The Affordable Care Act establishes a streamlined enrollment process through which individuals can gain access to affordable insurance coverage for which they are eligible.
 
http://www.medicaid.gov/Medicaid-CHIP-Program-Information/By-State/alabama.html

 
I think LFOD meant “like we wished they would” or “the earth is only 6000 years old” or something.

rogerb on April 17, 2014 at 10:42 AM

It’s almost as if Obamacare had been constructed so as to negatively affect most those least likely to vote for Dear Leader in the first place. Nah, that can’t be true…

Knott Buyinit on April 17, 2014 at 10:50 AM

So why do you even subscribe to the huffing Puffington news link?
Makes me wonder about your sincerity in your post. Sounds like you’re interested in what the huff has to say, yet hate their message. Are you a RINO?

timberline on April 17, 2014 at 10:29 AM

I have a possible answer to you question to Mini-14.

MAYBE HE WANTS TO BE INFORMED OF WHAT THE LEFT IS UP TO? MAYBE HE/SHE IS INTELLIGENT AND HAS THE ABILITY TO THINK FOR HIM/HER SELF? MAYBE HE/HER IS NOT JUST A MINDLESS DRONE?

Ever consider that?

Walter L. Newton on April 17, 2014 at 10:56 AM

I just got off the phone with Harry Reid. He’s got two points.

1. LIES!! All Lies.

2. He never called them lies.

Axeman on April 17, 2014 at 10:57 AM

This is all part of the GOP’s war on women. The DNC has their backs!

sarc/

cajunpatriot on April 17, 2014 at 11:02 AM

Isn’t thus actually because AL didn’t expand Medicaid as they were supposed to?

libfreeordie on April 17, 2014 at 8:47 AM

IIRC many municipal/county/state workers covered under pension plans don’t qualify for Medicare or Medicaid. Those workers paid into a pension plan which exempted them from FICA contributions. Without their local insurance plans in place they are out of luck.

ChicagoBlues on April 17, 2014 at 11:13 AM

Do we have any commenters in Alabama who can respond to this, from an insider point-of-view?
.
I don’t believe it’s true for a second, but I can’t prove it from where I stand.

listens2glenn on April 17, 2014 at 10:29 AM

I’m not in Alabama, but the talking point is easy to refute. Let’s use Texas, which I know did not expand Medicaid. The feds only provide 100% funding for a limited time, after which the States are on their own in funding the expansion. Texas already spends 37% of its entire operating budget on Medicaid and other forms of welfare, where 24% is Medicaid alone. Should a State really enter into the uncertainty that is Federal matching funds for a program that consumes so much of its budget? State budgets are nearly zero sum games, which means any future Federal shortfall means other programs (like education) must be cut or that taxes must rise.

And, Medicaid is a sucky program anyway and a poor measure for counting enrollment in a healthcare plan. The focus in smart states is on creating jobs, therefore cutting unemployment, cutting unwarranted disability, and creating natural avenues for obtaining health insurance.

stvnscott on April 17, 2014 at 11:17 AM

^ To clarify, the Feds provide 100% funding for the expansion for 1 year, and 90% after that, assuming the spending is continuously reauthorized by Congress. That leaves 10% of the expansion up to the States. It was projected opting into the expansion would raise Texas’ Medicaid spending to 30-32% of its total yearly budget after year 1.

And we haven’t even started to discuss the other strings that are attached to the Federal $$.

stvnscott on April 17, 2014 at 11:21 AM

IIRC many municipal/county/state workers covered under pension plans don’t qualify for Medicare or Medicaid. Those workers paid into a pension plan which exempted them from FICA contributions. Without their local insurance plans in place they are out of luck.

ChicagoBlues on April 17, 2014 at 11:13 AM

not necessarily true. Federal employees do not pay into social security under the old system but they do pay medicare tax. Could be the same for them.

RonK on April 17, 2014 at 11:25 AM

stvnscott on April 17, 2014 at 11:17 AM

That 100% match covers care costs, not admin costs. Admin costs can run anywhere from 5-10% of total costs for care.

State reimbursements for Medicaid services vary from state to state. CAs rate is .4 of going rate whereas our rate here in NC is .74 going rate.

States with higher rates have higher risk of fraud. NC has been hit hard for this one during the past decade. About three years ago now, they got 3M to set up a prototype software program to evaluate fraud on submitted claims.

That’s part of the reason NC didn’t expand Medicaid. With fraud levels being high, we would have been hemorrhaging funds at the speed of light.

lineholder on April 17, 2014 at 11:30 AM

Everdisco,,,,,,,, I live in one of the bluest states (Washington) and I still have no insurance because of glitches, freeze ups on the application, other boondoggles and no I am on an extended time to reapply for this crap. I lost a great plan 4/1 and now I will have a 6000 deductible with higher premiums than I had before. Oregon another blue state is not doing much better. So watch with our accusations of people not telling the truth. I think 100 per cent the president doesn’t tell the truth.

garydt on April 17, 2014 at 11:37 AM

Well, it is obvious that the Democrats have declared WAR ON WIDOWS.

Plato144 on April 17, 2014 at 11:49 AM

According to Reid, they are all liars!

rjoco1 on April 17, 2014 at 11:52 AM

Everyone’s missing the bright side…..these widows may have lost their insurance under Obamacare, but now they have access to free contraceptives!!!!! So they got THAT going for them…which is nice.

olesparkie on April 17, 2014 at 11:53 AM

This happened to my widowed mother in January as well.

Ed, we battled with MNsure for months. It’s been a nightmare.

Hat Trick on April 17, 2014 at 11:58 AM

Isn’t thus actually because AL didn’t expand Medicaid as they were supposed to?

libfreeordie on April 17, 2014 at 8:47 AM

And who says they were supposed to, Pea Brain?

bimmcorp on April 17, 2014 at 9:16 AM

Anything Barry wishes upon the nation = “supposed to”.

slickwillie2001 on April 17, 2014 at 12:18 PM

A New York woman suffering from a neurological disease that has required four brain surgeries has been dropped by all of her doctors and denied medications due to her Obamacare plan.

Isn’t thus actually because AL NY didn’t expand Medicaid as they were supposed to?

F X Muldoon on April 17, 2014 at 12:35 PM

They can always re-marry and get covered under the new spouses’ policy.

~Obama

BobMbx on April 17, 2014 at 10:00 AM

But what if they want to marry each other? Is Obama telling them whom they can and cannot marry?

#gheythread

#BuckFarack

Nutstuyu on April 17, 2014 at 12:45 PM

Just wait another year…and see how many of YOU lose coverage….

nonstopca on April 17, 2014 at 12:56 PM

“I won.”

PattyJ on April 17, 2014 at 1:07 PM

This is my home county and I really feel for these people. I hope our long national nightmare ends when America wakes up in 3 years…. and Hillary doesn’t take Barack’s place!

Knightcop on April 17, 2014 at 1:48 PM

So once again, “one-post” trollies come and go…..

itsspideyman on April 17, 2014 at 3:07 PM

Logic for Liberals 101:
Question: If the point was healthcare for the uninsured, why guarantee that those already insured would lose their healthcare?

Answer: Because this had nothing to do with healthcare and everything to do with the government controlling 1/16 of the entire economy, while at the same time forcing young and healthy to pay for old and sick. That’s why he lied to you.

Or to sum it up in 2 words: Control and Redistribution.
Barry don’t care about your health, he wants to control your life and your money.

AppraisHer on April 18, 2014 at 12:58 AM