ObamaCare and the end of nonprofit hospitals?

Nonprofit hospitals are defined as those that devote at least 3% (or in some states 4%) of their revenue to treat patients who cannot pay for treatment.  Well, if Obamacare works to insure everybody, those requirements might be hard to meet, forcing the 60% of the nation’s hospitals that are non-profit to lose that status and the tax advantages that go with it.

Notice that patients without insurance WERE getting treated, and that hospitals had a strong financial incentive to treat them.  (Did you know about that?  Why hasn’t the charitable dimension of the old system been discussed?  Might that have been improved as an alternative to changing our whole health care system for everyone?)  This is another unintentional revolutionary consequence of Obamacare.  After the jump, read the story from Forbes. [Read more...]

States fare differently under Obamacare

More quirks in Obamacare:  The same policy from the same insurer with the same coverage costs $1,800 per month in Virginia, but it costs only $285 in adjoining Maryland.  This is because Maryland mandated that all policies cover, among other things, gastric by-pass surgery for obesity.  Virginia did not, requiring those interested in that surgery to pay extra for that coverage.

Presumably, insurance companies–which are not allowed to charge extra for the $15,000 operation in Maryland–are having to make up the difference when selling policies elsewhere.   I suspect that liberal states will be more generous in mandating coverage, with conservative states requiring fewer services unless consumers pay for them.  That will mean people in liberal states will get more comprehensive health care coverage at a lower cost than those in conservative states, which will also have to foot the bill for the liberals’ generosity! [Read more...]

The Obamacare rollout debacle

Obamacare got off to an inauspicious start as the website that people were supposed to use to sign up for health insurance kept malfunctioning–not letting users sign in, throwing up error messages, and crashing users’ computers.  To the point that hardly anyone has been able to sign up for the mandated insurance.  Are these mere technical glitches, a bad omen, or an example of the problem with the whole program?  Namely, that it is too complicated, tries to do too much, is poorly planned, and is being run by agencies that don’t realize what they are getting into.

After the jump, a discussion by Ezra Klein, who supports Obamacare, about just how bad the website is. [Read more...]

Check out the Obamacare insurance exchange

Today the Obamacare insurance exchanges go live.  Everyone without health insurance must buy some, under penalty of law, from a list of approved companies. Here is the website where the uninsured must sign up:  Health Insurance Marketplace, Affordable Care Act | HealthCare.gov.

I thought that we could all look up what we would have to pay, but, as I should have known, it’s more complicated than that.  It looks like you have to start an account and enter all kinds of information before you can even see the different plans and how much they cost.

Some of you, though, have to go through this.  I’d very much like to hear from any of you who are uninsured.  Can you afford these premiums?  Do you find this a helpful program, or do you resent the federal government forcing you to buy a product at the cost of a big chunk of your monthly budget?  Or both?

My thoughts after the jump. [Read more...]

Shutdown countdown

The federal government runs out of money at the end of the day today and will shut down tomorrow unless the House of Representatives and Senate can strike a deal to keep the money flowing.  Republicans, who control the House, are saying they won’t pass such a resolution unless Obamacare is delayed for a year.  (They earlier wanted to strip funding from it entirely.  Now they are settling for a delay.)  Democrats are refusing to back down from their signature health care legislation (a major part of which goes into effect tomorrow).

So now we are on the brink.  Tomorrow the government may shut down AND the Obamacare insurance exchange sign-ups begin.

What do you think will happen?  Do you predict a last-second compromise?  If the shutdown takes place, what impact will that have?  What impact would that have on the Republican Party? [Read more...]

How about delaying Obamacare?

Kathleen Parker says that we should at least delay the implementation of Obamacare (the major provisions of which kick in October 1).  Her reasons provide a good summary of what all is wrong with the program. [Read more...]


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