Last Updated:October 31 @ 07:37 am

Sticker Shock: Obamacare deductibles

By Chicago Tribune

Adam Weldzius, a nurse practitioner, considers himself better informed than most when it comes to the inner workings of health insurance. But even he wasn't prepared for the pocketbook hit he'll face next year under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

If the 33-year-old single father wants the same level of coverage next year as what he has now with the same insurer and the same network of doctors and hospitals, his monthly premium of $233 will more than double. If he wants to keep his monthly payments in check, the Carpentersville resident is looking at an annual deductible for himself and his 7-year-old daughter of $12,700, a more than threefold increase from $3,500 today.

"I believe everybody should be able to have health insurance, but at the same time, I'm being penalized. And for what?" said Weldzius, who is not offered insurance through his employer. "For someone who's always had insurance, who's always taken care of myself, now I have to change my plan?"

Many Illinoisans buying health coverage on their own next year will face a similar dilemma spurred by the health care overhaul: pay higher monthly insurance premiums or run the risk of having to shell out thousands more in deductibles for health care if they get sick.

To promote the Oct. 1 debut of the exchanges, the online marketplaces where consumers can shop and buy insurance, Obama administration and Illinois officials touted the lower-than-expected monthly premiums that would make insurance more affordable for millions of Americans. But a Tribune analysis shows that 21 of the 22 lowest-priced plans offered on the Illinois health insurance exchange for Cook County have annual deductibles of more than $4,000 for an individual and $8,000 for family coverage.

Those deductibles, which represent the out-of-pocket money consumers must spend on health care before most insurance benefits kick in, are higher than what many consumers expected or may be able to stomach, benefit experts said.

By comparison, people who buy health insurance through their employer have an average individual deductible of just more than $1,100, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Although millions of Americans will be eligible for federal assistance to help offset some of those costs, millions will not, underscoring one of the trade-offs wrought under the law's goal to ensure most people have access to health insurance.

"It's been major sticker shock for most of my clients and prospects," said Rich Fahn, president of the Northbrook-based insurance broker Excell Benefit Group. "I'm telling (clients) that everything they know historically about health plans has changed. They either have to pay more out-of-pocket or more premiums or both. It's an overwhelming concern."

Plans with the least expensive monthly premiums -- highlighted by state and federal officials as proof the new law will keep costs low for consumers -- have deductibles as high as $6,350 for individuals and $12,700 for families, the highest levels allowed under the law.

Because the federal website that runs the Illinois exchange remained largely inoperable as of late last week, the Tribune used data from websites of four of the five insurers that will offer plans in Cook County on the marketplace. One insurer, Coventry Health Care, did not have plans available on its website last week but provided data to the Tribune.

Insurers say the price and cost hikes result from new benefit mandates, additional taxes levied as part of the law and a requirement that they can no longer deny coverage to people with pre-existing medical conditions.

The vast majority of insurance plans for 2014 must include a list of 10 essential health benefits, some of which, like maternity care, weren't necessarily included in all health plans a year ago.

The law also includes mandatory coverage of mental health and substance-abuse treatment, prescription drugs and rehabilitative care. All preventive care, including annual physicals and routine immunizations like flu shots, must be covered at no cost.

Further, insurers are required to take all applicants, regardless of whether they have pre-existing medical issues that may have locked them out of coverage in the past. And they're prohibited from charging their oldest, sickest members any more than three times as much as their youngest, healthiest members, causing premium prices to rise for many younger people.

Costs associated with those mandates are passed along to all members of a health plan.

Considering those factors, "the rates are actually quite reasonable," said Kelly Sullivan, a spokeswoman for the Illinois health insurance marketplace.

Under the law, most of the estimated 15 million Americans who bought plans individually this year, like Weldzius, will have to choose new insurance coverage that meets federal guidelines.

Because of the myriad changes to most plans, "it's hard to know whether you're really going to be able to compare like policies" from year-to-year, said Karen Pollitz, a senior fellow with the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation.

The health care law established four broad categories of coverage -- platinum, gold, silver and bronze -- for which premiums vary based on the amount of out-of-pocket health care expenses consumers are required to pay. Bronze plans have the lowest monthly premiums, but they cover only 60 percent of projected medical costs. Platinum plans have higher premiums but cover 90 percent of medical costs.

State officials expect most consumers to select either bronze or silver plans because monthly costs are lower.

To develop the new plans that meet the federal coverage levels, insurers in Illinois took two distinct routes.

Land of Lincoln Health, a new nonprofit insurer, opted to design most of its bronze and silver plans with lower annual deductibles in exchange for higher monthly premiums. All of its plans also offer a broad range of providers, though certain discounts are available for using a selection of them.

"When we sat down and looked at how to design our plans, we felt it was very important for consumers to not be afraid to use their health coverage," said Dan Yunker, Land of Lincoln's chief executive. "We can't have people not using their health plan because they can't afford it when it's time to use it."

Meanwhile, the state's dominant insurer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, was able to offer plans with lower monthly premiums by crafting narrower networks of doctors, specialists and hospitals.

The least expensive "Blue Choice" plans offered by Blue Cross, which carry the lowest monthly premiums in Cook County, contract with 4,100 primary care providers in the Chicago metro area. That compares with about 15,775 providers in its largest preferred provider network, according to company data.

The "Blue Choice" network includes 57 acute-care hospitals versus 213 in the larger network. In addition, two of the region's five large academic medical centers -- University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System and Loyola University Medical Center -- are in network, while Northwestern Memorial Hospital, University of Chicago Medical Center and Rush University Medical Center are out.

People who choose to go to an out-of-network hospital or physician will foot the entire bill, in most cases, and those expenses typically are not applied toward annual deductibles.

The network "was created to offer a most cost-effective and affordable network of physicians and hospitals without compromising quality," said Steve Hamman, the insurer's senior vice president of network management.

Company data show that patient outcomes are actually slightly better in its narrower network, he said.

Some plans offered by Humana Inc. and Coventry also have narrow networks.

Insurers and brokers recommend people carefully study narrow-network plans to ensure their preferred doctor and hospital are included.

"You have to be very careful about choosing a plan with a smaller network ... or there will be some big surprises," Fahn said.

Insurance brokers and health care experts also urge caution for consumers who choose plans with higher deductibles.

"Yes, rates are really low, but that's like saying, 'Here's a free car,' but if it costs you $500 a month to run, it's not really a free car," said Dave Stumm, executive vice president at Stumm Insurance, a Chicago-based brokerage.

Fahn calls the bronze plans "smoke-and-mirrors catastrophic plans," which don't provide benefits until and unless something bad happens -- a car wreck, a major surgery or a chronic illness.

For many low-income Americans, the law offers some help, though how much will vary by the individual.

The vast majority of the uninsured -- an estimated 80 to 90 percent, according to the Congressional Budget Office -- who buy coverage on the exchanges will qualify for federal subsidies in the form of tax credits. Those who make up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level (about $46,000 for an individual and $94,200 for a family of four) will be eligible for the subsidies to help offset the cost of premiums.

Further, people with incomes up to 250 percent of the federal poverty level (about $28,700 for an individual and $58,900 for a family of four) will qualify for cost-sharing subsidies that will reduce deductibles, in some cases substantially.

Brokers say they worry most about people who qualify for lower subsidies or none at all. Those with more modest incomes might not have enough in savings to pay for medical expenses.

They "could get slammed if they get sick," said Pollitz, of the Kaiser Family Foundation. "They just won't have the money. They just won't."

A potential consequence could be that some individuals may not seek medical care beyond routine office visits when they should, dissuaded by the specter of having to pay for it out of pocket.

"They'll just live without," Pollitz said, "kind of like they do now."

___

(c)2013 the Chicago Tribune

Visit the Chicago Tribune at www.chicagotribune.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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47 Comments

  1. Scruffy-USN-RetiredComment by kerryp
    October 15, 2013 @ 6:47 am

    The people who continue to support and bow down to the bumbaclot obama and his destructive administration will soon find that they worshiped a false self-anointed god who has betrayed them.

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  2. Pingback: » Sticker Shock: Obamacare deductibles » News — GOPUSA | ThinkingintheUSA

  3. maximusprime1Comment by maximusprime1
    October 15, 2013 @ 9:32 am

    When people see how much they have to PAY via co-pays and out of pocket expenses they are not going to be happy campers. The free stuff brigade will get off ACA for free or go in Medicaid, the illegals will still go to ER rooms for FREE while ACA people will pay ~$300 per visit. I don’t know a single soul that has $6,000 or $12,000 laying around the house somewhere. What happens if hosp visit spans 2 different years? If you enter hosp end Dec and stay till Jan does this mean 1 $6,000 deductible for 1st year and on same hosp visit the 2nd year (Jan) means you basically have $12,000 deductible? This happened to me in the past. My insurance company rules were that only 1 deductible, $400 was required because its the same illness.

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    • sumitchComment by sumitch
      October 15, 2013 @ 10:02 am

      Being the fine southern gentleman and vet that I pretend to be, it goes against my basic principles of fair play to say “I told you so” when I hear the screaming and crying of the folks that voted in this community organizer (should that be community disorganizer?).

      So I’m trapped with having to keep my big yap shut (also against my basic principles) or moving to Illinois.

      Decisions, decisions.

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    • pypypypyComment by pypypypy
      October 15, 2013 @ 10:13 am

      Hah Hah to those who voted for BO and, you dragged us all in the cesspool with you!

      Even worst, BO didnt even have the decency to give the ObamaCare web contract to US workers! Instead it went to Canada. His admin didnt even bother to get a competitive quote (has to be some pay back for campaign donations!). Cost over US$500M as oppose to the US$90M , it was suppose to cost!

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    • nhpollackComment by nhpollack
      October 15, 2013 @ 1:54 pm

      sumitch,

      Since I frequently tend to run off at the mouth, several years ago I looked up tact and diplomacy in the dictionary and found that to exercise either I’d have to lie or keep my mouth shut, both of which are genetic impossibilities so I’ll just post this quote and leave readers to their own interpretations:

      “If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your healthcare plan, you will be able to keep your healthcare plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what.”
      –Barack Obama

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    • sumitchComment by sumitch
      October 15, 2013 @ 2:16 pm

      nhpollack, we have the same malady. Plus in my case I tend to flail around with my hands to add punctuation for emphasis. My only fear is that I look like Nancy Pelosi when she opens her yap, but I take comfort in that I’m nowhere stupid enough to say anything close to most of what she throws out. She’s bad, but takes a far distant second to our own Shiela Jackson Lee who is now currently calling for martial law. I often wonder how such low I Q people get elected to office then I’m led into wondering what kind of people elect them. Then my head starts to hurt so I watch old Burns and Allen reruns to make me feel better.

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    • nhpollackComment by nhpollack
      October 15, 2013 @ 3:11 pm

      sumitch,
      I gave up talking to Leftists as it was bad for my blood pressure and it’s about as rewarding as trying to teach a pig to sing. Nancy Pelosi, Dianne Feinstein, Barbara Boxer, Sheila Jackson Lee, Maxine Waters, Chuck Schumer, Henry Waxman et al. are practically incoherent if one is looking for reason or logic in their discourse, but the typical American apparently places more value on the sound of words than the meaning and are so busy watching fat, rude, stupid people treat each other badly on “reality” shows or typing gibberish with their thumbs on their smart phones that they have no desire or time to do independent research into the issues. The think that the mainstream media is an authoritative source of information about current events.

      Burns and Allen, Dinah Shore, Jack Benny and Molly Goldberg when I really need a glimpse of when life was simpler and, I firmly believe, better. I’m witchoo.

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    • makesenseComment by makesense
      October 15, 2013 @ 3:18 pm

      “If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your healthcare plan, you will be able to keep your healthcare plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what.”
      –Barack Obama

      nhpollack, What he did say is true. What he did not say is, you can keep your doctor, you can keep your healthcare plan, BUT you will have to pay 4 to 5 times more to do so. And that is only in the beginning. Wait until the years that follow. When Barak makes promises that sounds too good to be true, it is. When ever Barak speaks to make you believe him one should always ask the question — What is the catch?

      Obama does not lie. He just will not tell you the whole truth, he omits it. If you did not think about the whole truth then it is your own fault, period! Look back to all his promises and you will see this pattern.

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    • nhpollackComment by nhpollack
      October 15, 2013 @ 5:43 pm

      makesense,

      I’m originally from Chicago, though I moved out to a Red state 25 years ago, and know all about the Cook County Democratic Machine. I saw this clown coming a mile away and the only true thing he said, which people didn’t heed adequately, was that he wanted to “fundamentally transform the United States of America” which is the only thing he ever said that I believed. I saw it as being analogous to the old Twilight Zone episode, “To Serve Man”. If you haven’t seen it, it’s available on youtube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgQTESr6BC8

      I don’t want to spoil it for you if you haven’t seen it so I’ll just say there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

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    • jrcrutcherComment by jrcrutcher
      October 16, 2013 @ 10:07 am

      @Sumitch: You said: “”I often wonder how such low I Q people get elected to office then I’m led into wondering what kind of people elect them.

      I can tell you exactly what kind of people elect (and re-elect) low IQ candidates. Low IQ people.

      I hope this bringds you some piece of mind though I doubt that it will do much for your headache. There now, aren’t you glad that BarryCare is going to step up to the plate and get you the industrial grade headache pharmaceuticals such a headache requjires. Though Preperation-H might be more appropriate considering the sort of pain BarryCare is proving to be,

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    • sumitchComment by sumitch
      October 16, 2013 @ 10:35 am

      Preperation-H ! Now that is funny. Do you mind if I use it if I give you credit? But now that you bring it to my attention I’m going to be real careful not to drop my soap in the shower.

      Good One.

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  4. clarameyer15Comment by clarameyer15
    October 15, 2013 @ 9:33 am

    I wouldnt mind an extra income like this.. Bow6com

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  5. rustypatComment by rustypat
    October 15, 2013 @ 9:44 am

    Considering those factors, “the rates are actually quite reasonable,” said Kelly Sullivan, a spokeswoman for the Illinois health insurance marketplace.

    Considering all that goes into a gold plated **** … it’s still a ****.

    The American people have been hoodwinked into believing what those of us who understand the simplest of things @ “there’s no such thing as a free lunch” knew would never, ever be as the propaganda tries to spin it.

    Gee, do you really think that folks that can’t afford health insurance in the past, can afford an $8,000 deductible. So, they get to spend money on BOTH their (low) monthly premium’s AND up to $8,000 a year before they get assistance from their insurance … .

    Yet another fiasco of Obama lying to everyone about what ObamaCare would entail. Catastrophic insurance plans have been offered in the open market long before ObamaCare came in to “save the day”. Now, they cost even more than before and come along with the added penalty on your taxes if you still can’t afford one.

    Obama is an idiot to think that the insurance companies (shareholder driven, profit expecting investors) wouldn’t offset their costs via limiting provider networks and raising deductible limits. A fifth grader with a lemonade stand could have figured that one out, but the supposed leader of the free world doesn’t have a clue about the free enterprise system that supports and drives our country. Instead, Obama operates a kool-aid stand for those that line up to foolishly drink his ill-fated propaganda to “transform America” into a socialistic country. America has been built strong via the free enterprise system … it is the heart and soul of her that Obama is trying to destroy.

    Obama-Nation is an Abomination.
    http://www.openbible.info/topics/abomination

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    • sumitchComment by sumitch
      October 15, 2013 @ 10:09 am

      Certain citizens of this country have lived on a “free lunch” all of their lives. How could anyone expect them to accept anything less?

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    • wumingrenComment by wumingren
      October 15, 2013 @ 10:27 am

      Obama isn’t expecting the ACA to work at all; he has planned for it to fail so he can rush single-payer healthcare through. The “glitches” in the state exchanges are intentional, too, because this rogue regime is hoping to postpone the “big reveal” until after the mid-term elections. If the plan is revealed too soon, Obama will lose both chambers of the legislature to Republican control.

      If they can manage to keep control of the Senate (and they even dream of taking back control of the House), they will implement their real agenda: single-payer nationalized healthcare paid for by those “filthy rich one-percenters who will finally be forced to pay their ‘fair’ share!”

      The goofball who said he voted for Obama twice and still supports him, also said he was surprised to have to pay an additional $10,000 annually for health insurance. Yet he still has faith that the system will self-correct, by which he means the single-payer plan will be implemented, and that extra $10,000 will be covered by the “filthy rich one-percenters.”

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    • nhpollackComment by nhpollack
      October 15, 2013 @ 3:38 pm

      wumingren,
      The thing that the Leftists never acknowledge is the standard of living, per capita income and property values in D.C. There might very well be a “filthy rich 1%”, but our federal government comprises the absolute tip of the pyramid whatever fraction of that 1% happens to be. I’ve NEVER seen one leave office with a lower net worth than when they went in and were they not enriching themselves they wouldn’t be fighting like rats to keep their positions.

      I don’t think anyone’s money is any of my business and I’ve never been given a job by a poor person or had any for customers.

      According to G. B. Shaw who as a radical Leftist, incongruously, said in his play, “‘Major Barbara’ through the Gospel of St. Andrew Undershaft who is Barbara’s munitions-manufacturer father, and preaches a religion of ‘money and gunpowder.’ He insists that the worst crime of all is poverty. They who disdain wealth and prate morality are hypocrites. ‘Money is the most important thing in the world,’ says Shaw in his Preface, ‘It is the counter that enables life to be distributed socially.’ It is better to be a wicked rich man than a poor honest one. The former has power that can be turned to good; the latter has only sniveling weakness.”

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  6. smdaresComment by smdares
    October 15, 2013 @ 9:58 am

    Do understand that Obamamama NON CARE FREE for N’s; Muslims; Illegal Aliens and white trash is totally subsidized by working taxpayers.
    You would be fools to pay a dime for this insanity!
    Simply ask anyone on Welfare; SNAPS; Medicaid or any of the 83 other federal give away free programs.
    ret expat (10+years) MD

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    • dealerdeb1Comment by dealerdeb1
      October 15, 2013 @ 10:35 am

      I just HATE everything OBAMA and everything he stands for what he has done and what he is capable of. I am so angry I could spit

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  7. robertdavidhummelComment by robertdavidhummel
    October 15, 2013 @ 10:02 am

    OSAMAOBAMA, aka…THE POTUS, B. H. Obama,…YOU better HEED….”To The THE VOICE of We The People”.
    We OWN the DEED to Our Nations Freedom Foundation.
    “We are being PATIENT and KIND with our VOICE”,….PLEASE NOTE:…”YOU and YOUR DEMOCRATIC Liberal/Socialists/Muslim Senate”, ….WILL RUE the DAY WHEN……WE STOP TALKING and “START ACTING”

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    • wmaggComment by wmagg
      October 15, 2013 @ 10:36 am

      Wake up call !
      Look around , take a deep breath, now let it out in a deep sigh

      Only about 7% of the populace took action in the revolutionary war and this nation gained it’s freedom from Britain.
      Unfortunately I doubt you can find 1% of American citizens who will do anything more than run off at the mouth and whine about what is being done. So Who exactly is going to take action, and what will that action be. Just ask your kids what kind of future they think they will have. Their answer will scare the hell out of you.

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    • rustypatComment by rustypat
      October 15, 2013 @ 11:16 am

      1% of Americans … tell me when & where, I’ll be there.

      I spent numerous hours, days, weeks, months and years in arduous conditions far from the comfort of my home, family and friends in defense or our country (along with many other patriots). During which time, I had ample opportunity to ask myself why I had voluntarily chosen to do so. The answer was simply so that my family and friends could continue to have the freedom to worship and live in a free society that afforded them the opportunity that America was built upon, and built to be.

      America was never intended to be a Robin Hood / Free Lunch society. America was forged upon the premise of those who were willing to sacrifice and receive the meritorious fruits of their labors and live a life based on freedom … freedom of worship, freedom of enterprise, freedom from oppression, freedom from tyranny … freedom from excessive government intervention and mandate.

      I sacrificed then, I’ll sacrifice again.

      Obama-Nation is an Abomination.
      http://www.openbible.info/topics/abomination

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    • rustypatComment by rustypat
      October 15, 2013 @ 11:46 am

      Aside from the Native Americans who were here long before us … we are all descendents of immigrants. The history of America is rooted in the land of opportunity that people were willing to leave behind their familiar and venture into a land of opportunity to put their efforts toward fruition.

      People didn’t come to America to get a “Free Lunch” and live in a socialistic realm. It has only been the advent of government that such socialistic mandates have developed. With each passing year and new “free lunch” program do we venture farther away from developing the strength that a free enterprise system can truly yield.

      But, for those who have never defended our country, nor labored to produce their own fruits … they seem lacking in their ability to get that. Thus, they foolishly believe that a “Free Lunch” is plausible … much like Jack buying Magic Beans. Of course, he drank the kool-aid before he bought the beans.

      Obama-Nation is an Abomination.
      http://www.openbible.info/topics/abomination

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    • FreeDameComment by FreeDame
      October 15, 2013 @ 3:00 pm

      Rustypat’s comment that “America was never intended to be a Robin Hood / Free Lunch society,” made me want to point out something that often gets misunderstood.

      Robin Hood did not “steal from the rich and give to the poor.” Robin Hood stole BACK from the rich what THEY had previously stolen from the poor, and gave BACK to the poor what was rightfully theirs.

      The Obama administration (aided and abetted by RINO’s like McCain and Graham) are Prince John and the Sheriff of Nottingham. We could use a good Robin Hood to lead us today.

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    • ptbaaComment by ptbaa
      October 15, 2013 @ 9:18 pm

      FreeDame:

      Robin Hood stole from the government that had stolen from the poor! Prince John and the Sheriff of Nottingham were the government.

      There is a Robin Hood! His name is Ted Cruz. All we have to do is get behind him and get his name on the ballot for President in 2016!

      Then, the constitutional scholar that he is will find a way to undo this nightmare and right the ship of state!

      No it won’t be easy, but he has shown he does have the intestinal fortitude to fight even against apparently insurmountable odds.

      What this nation needs is reviving, not transformation! Our problems are not economic, nor political. They are spiritual. The one Obama serves knows his time is short. But our promise is that He will be with us until the end of the age.

      But, He requires four things of us. 1)that we humble ourselves, 2)that we pray, 3)that we seek His face, and 4)that we turn from our evil ways. The ball is in our court, not His!

      Know God, know hope. No God, no hope!

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  8. ksr1Comment by ksr1
    October 15, 2013 @ 10:11 am

    Folks, I have said it before in earlier posts; Just let the darn thing go forward even with all the warts. Once the LIVs & even the HELIVs get wind what the true costs will be they will finally realize the Kool-Aid they have been drinking, is really poison, and only then will they start yelling at the top of their lungs to get rid of it all, and the whole system will fall under its own weight and costs over-runs. Like they say “If it sounds too good to be true, it is probably not.” OBTW, with all the problems they have with the web-registration and these folks run up against the time limit to have signed up for this junk, they will face a nice IRS fine to top it all off…now that’s irony! So just sit back and enjoy the show, its going to get interesting :-)

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    • wumingrenComment by wumingren
      October 15, 2013 @ 10:48 am

      You are hoping that Obamacare will implode and everything will go back to normal. It won’t. Instead, Obamacare was merely the stepping stone to a single-payer fully nationalized healthcare system.

      Americans would not have jumped straight to government owned and operated healthcare, but when Obamacare collapses — as it is intended to do — we will not be offered a reprieve; instead, a complete government takeover will occur.

      All those doctors who opted out of Obamacare networks will be given the option of working at GS rated salaries, like all federal employees, or losing their medical licenses and being banned from the practice of medicine anywhere in America.

      It occurs to me that with the government takeover of student loans, the plan will be to offer free college education to all who enter medical school and commit to a career in government healthcare. Those stepping up won’t be the nation’s best & brightest, nor will they be our most driven risk takers; no, they will be anyone who shows up, regardless of qualifications.

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    • JDZComment by JDZ
      October 15, 2013 @ 12:18 pm

      The problem with the idea of letting Obamavare roll out expecting it to crash of its own weight and failures is that the socialists in the government will continue to make exceptions to the law (unlawfully) as they are doing as we speak. They have exempted Congress which means they are not going to suffer from the impact themselves on their insurance, access to doctors, tetchy. They continue to give thousands of exemptions to their political cronies (their favorite companies, liberal tax exempt organizations, unions, etc.) and make specific exemptions in domains of their political constituents where the law is found to be egregious, but refuse to make these exemptions universal. Do, they are essentially modifying a so-called “law of the land” on the fly for their friends which is unconstitutional for an existing “law of the land”.

      What is frustrating is to watch all of this happen and see the mainstream media just give the liberals/socialists a total pass on all of this stuff. All of the ongoing scandals..a pass. The demonizing of conservative America…a pass. The uncontrolled borrowing and spending and unprecedented huge nationl debt…a pass. The obvious agenda of the Obama administration to “transform” our country from the power of American capitalism which built our country, into just another mediocre socialist country…a complete pass.

      It appears that we are seeing the beginning of the death throes of the once greatest country in the history of the world.

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    • ksr1Comment by ksr1
      October 15, 2013 @ 1:12 pm

      @wumingren, I understand exactly what you are saying, it will not go back to an old system. As Harry Reid let slip a little over a month ago in a news sound bite “the end objective of all this IS a single payer system”. The only hope that one CAN have from this is the LIVs/HELIVs will find it too much of a deceit from the DEMs and “might” want another conclusion from the elections. I know that is a darn long bridge to have them cross. But when you really look at demographics, the elections are in fact somewhat close, it is only when the electoral college comes into play does it look so lopsided. Either way we as a nation are collectively Scr**ed and the costs are going to explode. I just think of my many years in Europe, and all the heated discussions they had over the years about their lousy system of health care. It got so bad that another industry within the insurance companies sprung up and now offer a full range of supplemental insurance policies to cover what the national system does not. Yep, that I think is where we are headed, those people wanted it so bad, now they will have their chance of having it. Sadly we all are going to be dragged through that briar patch. The folks really do not know what is in store for them.

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  9. doszapComment by doszap
    October 15, 2013 @ 10:15 am

    Did a cursory run on a hypothetical family of 2.
    Income 35k a year, the best plan, a a Gold one, was $1,620.00 per month, with a $12,000 deductible before coverage.
    How is a family of 2 with a very modest income gong to pay 20k a year for decent health ins?.
    Answer, you cannot.
    These are DEATH plans, not health plans.
    Cannot wait till the Dems that voted this clown in see the payoff they get,it will be hilarious.

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    • pistol packing mamaComment by txgoatlady
      October 15, 2013 @ 10:31 am

      The GOLD plan has a $12,000 deductible? Geez, that’s awful. Our HSA with catastrophic at my work had a $3,000 deductible because that was the annual amount you could contribute to the HSA. At $12,000, you might as well not have insurance. Well, I guess you get your annual exam covered, but what do you do if they find something wrong? That is all out of pocket.

      BTW, one of the things that Obama delayed was the cap on out-of-pocket expenses. Delay the business mandate, delay the cap, but make the rest of us poor suckers suffer through the individual mandate.

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  10. faaqComment by faaq
    October 15, 2013 @ 10:21 am

    “Affordable Health Care Act”? It’s only going to be affordable to those that qualify to NOT have to pay anything into it. The rest of us will pay dearly. Obama knew premiums, deductibles and out of pocket costs would skyrocket for those who don’t qualify for subsidies. How else can you put 30 million people – and many with expensive pre-existing conditions – onto the insurance rolls without the cost to the individuals and businesses to go up considerably?? My deductible is tripling and the out of pocket max is doubling, so where are my savings?

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  11. joe23006Comment by joe23006
    October 15, 2013 @ 10:25 am

    I can’t understand why so many liberals are upset because they are getting exactly what they voted for, in the man and in the programs. Even worse, Congrees, unions, and the cronies want wavers so their healthcare willnot change, yet they supported it, blindly, “We have to vote for it to see what’s in it!”, probably the most insane comment ever made by a Senator. ‘Affordable Healthcare’ that nobody can afford and in their right mind would never want it!

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  12. JDZComment by JDZ
    October 15, 2013 @ 10:55 am

    What is happening was so…so predictable by any one who just looks at it in a simple way…to provide government subsidized healthcare insurance for tens of millions of low income or poor Americans, to include anyone without factoring in “pre-existing conditions” or ability to pay, to add broad coverage into every healthcare plan for maternity, drug abuse treatment, etc. whether wanted or not, etc. and on and on, will raise the cost of both the taxpayers at large and those paying for healthcare insurance as the insurance companies, whether the government or private companies, have to spread the cost across everyone. It has to go up…not down as President Obama promised. It is so blatantly obvious that either Obama is stupid or just lied to the American people.

    So, who are the winners and losers in all of this?

    It is hard to find winners…I guess low income families who will receive large government subsidies will be able to have healthcare insurance or be included in government subsidized Medicaid. Those currently without insurance today essentially get free (to them) healthcare at local ERs as they have been doing for decades, and they still may choose to go this way if they have to pay ANYTHING for insurance. Those with “pre-existing conditions” can now buy less expensive insurance as they will be obscured in the enrollment and the high cost of care of this group of Americans will be spread across everyone else paying for insurance.

    One of the largest group of losers are every American paying taxes as the exorbitant cost to the government to organize, staff, manage and pay for the huge subsidies this program promises is in the trillions of new costs to the government. We already know that every service the government provides grows into a huge, expensive, inefficient, and unaffordable bureaucracy and already the cost estimates have gone from cost neutral (promised by Obama) to now exceeding a trillion dollars and growing each day. Medicare, SS, Medicaid, AMTRAK, USPS, etc. have done just that and are blatant examples of how Bad the government is at running anything complex.

    Every person that has a company subsided healthcare insurance plan is going to pay much more in both monthly payments and deductible limits, or in a growing number of instances, lose their current insurance (Obama said this would not happen…another lie). Young Americans who do not think they need insurance and go to an ER or free clinic for the few times they need a doctor will be forced to buy insurance or pay a fine.

    The number of “losers” created by this government takeover of the healthcare insurance in Ameica is is growing by the day, as this is the wrong move and the country is going to pay in many ways for this overly complex and expensive move by the socialists running the federal government.

    The federal government could have provided a focused plan for low income Americans and those with pre-existing conditions, for example, without taking over the entire healthcare insurance industry, but, it is all about CONTROL over the American people. Once the ACA is fully implemented, the government will have almost total control of our individual healthcare through the rules, regulations, tax structure, personal information, and the IRS oversight and force, the federal government will have increased their direct control over every American to unprecedented levels.

    What is really sad to watch is the absolute refusal of the Whitehouse and the Democrats in Congress to be open to any changes in this bad legislation or to slowdown it’s implementation. What they are doing is exempting themselves from the legislation and thousands of their political cronies and are forcing it on everyone else. So who are the hypocrites in this situation.

    Obama, Reid, Pelosi, etc. continue to demonize Republicans who want to delay the full implementation, exempt no one (including Congress), and drop the taxes on medical equipment manufacturers, and are using the debt limit to negotiate these proposal. Obama refuses to even discuss any of these proposals and continues to blame the Tea Party and calls them extortionists, unAmericans, and worse, and are blaming them for the partial government shutdown. This is a major political ploy by the President to break the back of the Republicans in the House.

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  13. jbdestinyComment by jbdestiny
    October 15, 2013 @ 10:57 am

    So, do these guys finally understand that the (so-called) wealth to be redistributed is THEIRS- not “the Rich,” not “the Government,” not “those who don’t pay their fair share”?

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  14. wallybluComment by wallyblu
    October 15, 2013 @ 11:53 am

    Health Insurance is not health care, just as car insurance doesn’t get your car fixed if there is no mechanic to fix it.

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  15. juicyfruit56Comment by juicyfruit56
    October 15, 2013 @ 12:24 pm

    There is one quick way to stop Obama Care and that is for all the doctors in the United States to take an immediate stand and stop practicing for one full day, regardless of emergencies. In some cases it would be a tragedy, but nothing compared to the tragedy of this implementation of this bill.

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  16. wdjincComment by wdjinc
    October 15, 2013 @ 12:29 pm

    Obama Care is the worst thing that has ever been passed. Obama lied when he said we could keep our present provider and doctors. A whale of a lie. All of these plans cost more when you include the high deductibles. Even those of us who do not need many of the benefits that have been included are forced to have them in our plans.

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    • dealerdeb1Comment by dealerdeb1
      October 15, 2013 @ 1:59 pm

      I think some onservative PAC should be running Commercials day and night with Both Obama and Hillary ;lying. Just like they do. Do it over and over and DESTROY their credibility. It is a scheme that works so well for them why should we start nopw? I am going to call a few and see what they will do and how many donations they need to buy the ad space. Where are the KOCH brothers?

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    • jrcrutcherComment by jrcrutcher
      October 16, 2013 @ 10:29 am

      PLease post back here when you find a PAC dedicated to this. Even though I truely can’t afford it I’ll donate part of my military disability and unemployment to help fund it. Surely I can find enough aluminum cans lying beside the road to be able to send them a buck or two.

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  17. doszapComment by doszap
    October 15, 2013 @ 12:56 pm

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-10-15/foodstamp-program-shutdown-imminent#comment-4056746

    Batten down the hatches if this happens.

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    • sumitchComment by sumitch
      October 16, 2013 @ 10:59 am

      Sounds like Road Warrior right here in River City doesn’t it doszap?

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  18. concernedcitizenComment by concernedcitizen
    October 15, 2013 @ 2:22 pm

    Yes there is no other feeling when your laying in a hospital bed, wondering whats wrong with you and how serious the reason you were admitted, and how long your going to be there, and then be asked how are you going to pay for this?

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    • jrcrutcherComment by jrcrutcher
      October 16, 2013 @ 10:32 am

      Well at least after you are mediclly bankrupted your deductable should be met. Too bad you can no longer afford the monthly premiums.

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    • sumitchComment by sumitch
      October 16, 2013 @ 10:46 am

      Not to worry. When you get the bill you’ll prolly have a heart attack so it’s gonna be someone else’s problem.

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  19. 1oanh2Comment by 1oanh2
    October 15, 2013 @ 3:34 pm

    Over priced and out of our budget obama
    Bad bill signed into law by the most corrupt
    All the hidden taxes will be a shock as well
    Muslim obama loves destroying this country
    Asinine
    Cuts the throats of all struggling Americans tax payers
    Allows exemption for his chosen, not us
    Republicans did not vote for this obamacare ****
    Early sign up gets screwed first as obamacare is not affordable

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  20. georgiagalComment by georgiagal
    October 15, 2013 @ 4:12 pm

    I hope all those libs who voted back in O and all the other dumber than dumb Democrats get the shocker price/high deductible on their policies. Sorry to be mean, but it’s all of you kool-aide drinkers that have caused this mess and you should have to suffer to the max.
    Good bye good health care and hello death panels for me.

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  21. Pingback: On to the ObamaCare Meltdown » Choosing Life - God's Gift To The Unborn

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  23. shmilyComment by shmily
    November 22, 2013 @ 3:26 pm

    Car and house insurance companies must be salivating knowing that this administration and his cronies are fleecing the public. I wonder how much they will think there will be left after the health care bailout for the other insurance companies? Where do they think people will get the money? It’s not like the Great Depression when we saw the lines for assistance. Now they do it behind closed doors online. The people are in for a huge surprise unless someone of moral character gets this under control. More need to hear Disnesh D’Souza! Moral values are inverted. I feel sorry for Obama. Like my communist brother-in-law admitted in his old age, he picked the wrong side. OB could have been a great 1st black president. He sold his soul.

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