A pretty unsparing segment from CBS News:
“This is not an isolated incident…The exclusion of a major provider like Seattle Children’s from a major insurance network in this market is unprecedented…we’re seeing denials in care, disruptions in care; we’re seeing a great deal of confusion and, at times, anger and frustration on the part of these families who bought insurance thinking that their children would be covered. And they’ve in fact found that it’s a false promise.”
Reuters piles on, noting that Obamacare snafus are leaving…AIDS patients “in limbo,” too. In which two conflicting bureaucratic decrees leave one major insurance carrier befuddled, and hundreds of high-risk patients in the lurch:
Hundreds of people with HIV/AIDS in Louisiana trying to obtain coverage under President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform are in danger of being thrown out of the insurance plan they selected in a dispute over federal subsidies and the interpretation of federal rules about preventing Obamacare fraud…The state’s largest carrier is rejecting checks from a federal program designed to help these patients pay for AIDS drugs and insurance premiums, and has begun notifying customers that their enrollment in its Obamacare plans will be discontinued…The dispute goes back to a series of statements from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the lead Obamacare agency. In September, CMS informed insurers that Ryan White funds “may be used to cover the cost of private health insurance premiums, deductibles, and co-payments” for Obamacare plans. In November, however, it warned “hospitals, other healthcare providers, and other commercial entities” that it has “significant concerns” about their supporting premium payments and helping Obamacare consumers pay deductibles and other costs, citing the risk of fraud.
Phil Klein reported last week that HHS is weighing new regulatory actions aimed at ameliorating Obamacare’s “access shock” struggles. The problem? Mandating broader networks (70 percent of Obamacare’s hospital networks are “narrow” or “ultra-narrow,” according to a recent study) would address one flaw by exacerbating another:
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Tuesday proposed a new guidance for 2015 aimed at expanding choices of doctors and hospitals on plans offered through the exchanges in President Obama’s health care law. But in an effort to answer one complaint of Obamacare, the proposed regulations could exacerbate another, by further driving up premiums…the Obama administration is facing a clear dilemma. The more benefits insurers are required to offer and the more providers they are forced to include in their networks in response to complaints about “access shock,” the higher insurance premiums will go, which will fuel more complaints of “rate shock.”
Pick your poison. Moody’s downgraded the health insurance industry’s credit outlook last month, citing risk pool composition issues, as well as the disruptive climate of uncertainty casting a pall over the new law. Recent events have vindicated both concerns, and have fortified additional long-standing conservative arguments against the multi-trillion-dollar experiment. Here’s NBC’s David Gregory explaining how Democrats have essentially given up on winning the Obamacare debate in advance of the midterms:
Say, what happened to all the ‘you-bet-your-sweet-ass-we’re-running-on-Obamacare!’ bravado from DWS and company? I’ll leave you with the following quote:
“You don’t want the election to be about Obamacare.”
Who said it? Click through for the grand reveal.