Archive for the ‘Obama care’ Category

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WASHINGTON AP — The Supreme Court says corporations can hold religious objections that allow them to opt out of the new health law requirement that they cover contraceptives for women.The justices’ 5-4 decision Monday is the first time that the high court has ruled that profit-seeking businesses can hold religious views under federal law.

And it means the Obama administration must search for a different way of providing free contraception to women who are covered under objecting companies’ health insurance plans.

Contraception is among a range of preventive services that must be provided at no extra charge under the health care law that President Barack Obama signed in 2010 and the Supreme Court upheld two years later.

via Justices: Can’t make employers cover contraception – WHP CBS 21 Harrisburg – Top Stories.

A California man has been seeking treatment for Lyme disease, something he contracted while on active duty as a Marine, but he’s having a hard time finding a doctor in the San Francisco Bay area that accepts his insurance.

The insurance company’s advice? Cancel his plan. KPIX-TV, though, says the fact that he can’t find a doctor within a reasonable distance violates state law and nothing appears to be taking place to fix the issue.

The former Marine identified by KPIX by only his first name, Kyle, is covered by Anthem Blue Cross through the state exchange Covered California.

Kyle, a former Marine, has not been able to find a doctor within 20 miles of his home that accepts his insurance plan, something that violates Covered California’s requirements.



“I was on the phone with Anthem for two hours while they were trying to find me a doctor within 20 miles. Finally a supervisor came on the phone and said ‘Sir, we have to go, we have other people to help,’ and advised me I need to cancel my plan,” Kyle told the news station.

KPIX pointed out that California’s law requires insurers to have enough doctors within 15 miles of a patient’s home for them to acquire an appointment in 15 days or less.

When Kyle looks at the list of doctors that Anthem on its website, he said it shows more than 80 doctors within 20 miles, even though in reality he can’t find one.

The news station reported that the State’s Department of Managed Health Care previously said it will look into the matter of insurers being in compliance with an adequate number of doctors, but it declined to comment when contacted again by KPIX regarding the issue and possible fines.

via Former Marine Can’t Find a Doctor for His Obamacare Insurance Plan — So He Says the Company Actually Suggested He Just Do This | Video |

Americans are a lot less happy today compared to more than a decade ago, a Fox News poll finds.

The poll, released Monday, finds 53 percent of American voters are “very happy” or “happy.” That’s down slightly from 56 percent who said the same five years ago (May 2009). And down significantly from the 68 percent who reported feeling happy back in April 2001.

The biggest decline — a substantial 34-point drop — comes among Republicans. In 2001 — back at the beginning of George W. Bush’s first term — 82 percent were happy, while only 48 percent are today. Independents are less content too: It was 69 percent in the Bush era vs. 50 percent now.


Democrats are happier, though not dramatically so: 61 percent feel happy today, up seven points from 54 percent in 2001.

Just over half of both men (53 percent) and women (54 percent) are happy. People over age 65 (56 percent) are a bit more content than those under age 30 (50 percent). And while money can’t buy happiness, it seems to help — people living in higher-income households (58 percent) are more likely to say they are happy than those in lower-income households (47 percent).

In the-grass-ain’t-always-greener department, just three percent believe their fellow Americans are “very happy.” Yet six times as many report they feel “very happy” personally (19 percent).

via Fox News Poll: Americans less happy compared to decade ago | Fox News.

Some See Their Compensation Double

Chief executive officers at Fortune 500 health insurance companies, who have opposed new regulations under the Affordable Care Act, emerged this month as one of the ACA’s greatest beneficiaries. Recently filed financial reports show that average compensation for these top nine health insurance CEOs rose by more than 19 percent in 2013, while several of the nation’s largest insurers more than doubled CEO pay.

The biggest winner was Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini, who received a staggering $30.7 million compensation package in 2013. This marks the largest payout to any health insurance executive since passage of the ACA and exceeded the compensation of the next two highest paid health insurer CEOs combined. The Bertolini pay package, which included a large “special one-time performance-based retention award,” represented a 131 percent increase over his $13.3 million compensation in 2012.

Molina Healthcare and Centene, both Fortune 500 insurers that specialize in privately managed Medicaid plans, roughly doubled CEO compensation in 2013. J. Mario Molina received $11.9 million, up from $5 million in 2012, while Centene’s CEO Michael Neidorff made $14.5 million, up from $8.5 million. Overall, average CEO pay across Fortune 500 health insurers rose from $11.6 million in 2012 to $13.9 million in 2013.

The disclosures of higher CEO pay coincided with several of the same companies announcing better-than-expected earnings in the first quarter of 2014, even as they signaled that patients and businesses should prepare for increased insurance premiums in 2015.


“For far too long, private health insurance executives have received outsized compensation packages – subsidized by the ever-increasing premiums of hardworking Americans – while millions of low income individuals and those with pre-existing conditions went uninsured,” says Representative John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.). “The United States’ healthcare sector has been in need of repair for decades, and over-the-top executive compensation is emblematic of the failure of our private health insurance system. While the Affordable Care Act is a good first step, truly universal coverage and meaningful reform to our healthcare system can be provided only through a single- payer system. I have introduced H.R. 676 – the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act – since 2003 to live up to this aim of universal care and establish health insurance as a basic right rather than a for-profit industry,” he continued.

“Families and patients are being asked to tighten their belts in the face of rising healthcare costs, while our premiums are being used to subsidize even more astronomical compensation for the already wealthy,” said Benjamin Day, Director of Organizing at Healthcare-NOW!, a nonprofit group that advocates for a single-payer system, sometimes called “an improved Medicare for all.”

“In contrast, the top administrator of Medicare – our public, universal health plan for all seniors, which is more efficient, provides better financial protection, and receives higher marks from patients than private health insurers – is paid less than $200,000 per year. The culture of excess at these for-profit corporations is incompatible with the goals of an efficient, ethical health care system, where every dollar diverted from patient care represents a loss of access for real families.”

Day continued: “We face the highest healthcare costs and have among the worst health outcomes of any country in the developed world because we allow private health insurers and dozens of other intermediaries to act as for-profit middlemen in the health care system. Although many backers of the Affordable Care Act said it would rein in insurance company excesses, the law clearly hasn’t curtailed top executive pay.”

“Thirty-million-dollar CEO paychecks – millions that should be spent on saving lives, not making the rich richer – should be a stark reminder that a single-payer, Medicare-for-All program would lower costs by spending every available dollar on patient care, and making access to care an inalienable right for everyone in the United States,” Day said.

via Healthcare-NOW! – Health Insurance CEO Pay Skyrockets in 2013.

MHP721-e1374438339235MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry has a few choice words for people who have complained about losing the insurance they were promised by Barack Obama that they could keep. In the words of Harris-Perry, “Just deal with it!”

Not surprisingly, she completely agrees with Obama that Democrats should proudly brag about Obamacare and campaign on it for the mid-term elections. In going back to the progressive Democrat mantra that some plans were eliminated because they were ‘substandard’ or ‘junk plans,’ Harris had this to say to the victims of Obama’s lie along with some praise for the Democrats. (emphasis mine)

You know — Democrats. You know, the same party that passed and defended and implemented the most sweeping social policy in decades, who can say that millions of people now have affordable health insurance that they didn’t have before. And they’re not even owning it. No confidence, no swagger. No, “Yeah, you can’t keep your crappy plans. Just deal with that!”

Watch Melissa Harris-Perry’s mocking rant on Obama’s LEAN FORWARD network.

via This MSNBC Host has Some Choice Words for Those Upset about Obamacare.