Five Years in — GOP Still Has NO Plan

Five years after Obama’s first election, the GOP has absolutely NO comprehensive health care reform plan other than “hurry up and die” or “good luck not going bankrupt over healthcare costs.”  Instead of embracing the Affordable Care Act, they prefer to return to insurance corporation rule over the healthcare options for Americans.

They can talk about “tort reform” and “selling insurance across state lines” … but neither of those concepts will help someone declared by the insurance industry to be defective, in that they have a “pre-existing” condition, making them ineligible for insurance at any price.  A large number of governors have already attempted “tort reform” and have been unable to achieve positive results.  In addition, I doubt those same Governors would want to see Insurers from some other state “cherry-pick” healthy citizens out of their state only to watch health pools become mostly populated with more unhealthy individuals causing healthcare costs to rise dramatically.

The GOP claims tort reform would give more certainty to the healthcare marketplace by curbing liability costs of providers of healthcare.  The only way they can conceivably do that is to dictate flat monetary values for the loss of a foot, arm, life, etc., or flat allowances for the plethora of malpractices that are committed on a regular basis.  In other words, if a doctor or health provider ruins your health or the quality of your life, you’ll get only a pittance for your bad luck.

The GOP’s desire to “sell insurance across state lines” is at cross-directions with their “States Rights” mantra and instead would throw each state under the bus.  Each State has its own Commissioner of Insurance who sets minimum requirements for those who provide Insurance policies to citizens of their particular state.  So, instead of protecting “States” rights, it appears the GOP wants to plow the way for large corporate insurance providers to take out more efficient and less costly smaller sized organizations … DECREASING competition in the marketplace, and thus HIGHER costs and abuses.

But, that’s all they’ve got.  So, before we throw out the baby with the bath water, so to say … maybe it’s time to get behind what was actually passed, upheld by the Supreme Court, and now in the process of being implemented.  The benefits of the Affordable Care Act are pretty straight forward: the law makes it easier to get insurance you can afford, ensures you have the care you need when you get sick, and covers the preventive services you need to stay healthy without additional co-pay:

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By The Numbers: the First Reporting Period of Open Enrollment

By Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services

Today we released our most detailed report to date about the results of the first reporting period of open enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace. The numbers show that interest in the Health Insurance Marketplace remains strong and the promise of quality, affordable coverage is becoming a reality for hundreds of thousands of Americans.

Marketplace Open Enrollment: 1st Reporting Period: October 1st Through November 2nd 106,185 Americans have enrolled in a plan through the Marketplace. 975,407 Americans have made it through the process and have not yet selected a plan. 502,466 Americans are positioned to have health coverage starting in 2014 through Medicaid/CHIP. 26,876,527 unique visitors to Marketplace websites. 3,158,436 calls to the federal & state call centers. “The promise of quality affordable coverage is increasingly becoming reality for this first wave of applicants to the Health Insurance Marketplaces. There is no doubt the level of interest is strong. We expect enrollment will grow substantially throughout the next five months, mirroring the pattern that Massachusetts experienced. We also expect that the numbers will grow as the website, HealthCare.gov, continues to make steady improvements.” – Secretary Kathleen Sebelius HealthCare.gov.

Between October 1 and November 2, 2013, 106,185 individuals selected plans from the Marketplace and another 975,407 applied and received an eligibility determination, but have not yet selected a plan. An additional 396,261 were determined eligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).  In total, 502,446 Americans will be positioned to have health coverage starting in 2014.

As we’ve seen in Massachusetts’s efforts to expand coverage, I expect the number of newly insured to grow substantially throughout the open enrollment period. Our efforts to improve HealthCare.gov will be critical to driving new enrollments and meeting consumer demand.

As a further indication of high consumer interest, web traffic and call center volume also continues to be very heavy. During the first reporting period, there have been over 26 million unique visitors to Marketplace websites and over 3.1 million calls to the call centers.

While we know there is still a lot of work to do to make sure every American that wants access to affordable coverage can have it, there are many encouraging takeaways from today’s report.

For the full text of the report, “Health Insurance Marketplace: November Enrollment Report,” please visit:  http://aspe.hhs.gov/health/reports/2013/MarketPlaceEnrollment/rpt_enrollment.pdf

Nevada has a state supported exchange, meaning we don’t need to use the national website.  We can go to our own exchange website.  If you don’t have employer provided insurance and will need to enroll for insurance, VISIT THE NEVADA HEALTH LINK NOW TO APPLY today.