Archive for March 27th, 2014

27
Mar
14

ObamaCare Means: No Longer Being Treated As Second Class

Image: Supreme Court Upholds Obama's Affordable Care Act

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By 57AndFemale

I’m posting a comment I made at dKos. Some of this my TOD family already knows, but here was yesterday’s experience at my doctor: “Before ACA there was no one, at any price, that would cover my asthma. I was rejected outright for all insurance. The high risk pools were ridiculous in deductibles, premiums and would have made running our small business almost impossible.

I’ve been self-employed for 30 years. I had insurance in the past – those exalted “how dare you cancel my plan” type plans that, if you tried to use them, all claims were rejected short of bleeding on the ER floor, and then cancellation after that. Living in the uninsured world of the U.S. was terrifying.

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I paid for cataract surgery out of pocket. I’ve gone to my asthma doctor and thought I was receiving good care. He’s a great doctor. I’ve been paying him, and for my meds to stay out of the hospital, out of pocket all these years. That was ‘yesterday’. ‘Today’ I went to see my doctor with an insurance card through ACA and he was going to get an insurance payment for me after 30 years. I’m not destitute. I was frankly surprised and a tad alarmed and still thrilled when he said, “Now I can get the tests and numbers on you that I need to treat you properly.”

He did some lung tests on me: I’m at 50% lung capacity and the test he ran showed, in his words, “Your airwaves are on fire.” This, with expensive meds that I’ve been paying for. I’ve been under-treated and didn’t even know it. For God knows how many years.

Now, as an aside, he should have told me about the tests he needed and we would have found the money somehow. This is the shadow you live under even with a sympathetic doctor – you don’t even know what it means to be treated properly by the American health care system. He should have let me make that choice, but I’m assuming these tests were REALLY expensive (have I mentioned American health care system sucks?)

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Adjustments to my meds. An entirely different regimen for my blood pressure. Full blood work next time (although we’ve done basic blood work in the past). I may need a chest x-ray to see if I have low level pneumonia since I’ve been sick three times this winter. But he wants the basic treatment first and then we’ll assess. My last bout of flu or whatever it was – I knew I was over a line. I called the doctor, got some meds prescribed over the phone, but I knew I’d gotten progressively worse through the winter (my insurance kicked in February 1). I wish I could express the alleviation of fear and the peace of mind I had that, if I needed to go to the ER, I could go.

I’ve applied and dealt with private insurance for years so none of this process was foreign to me. I’m going to be 64 in May so I am at the top of what can be charged for insurance. I took a low deductible, maximum flexibility knowing that I will be on Medicare May, 2015 (if we don’t elect RWNJ’s to the Senate and the House – VOTE, PEOPLE). I got a small subsidy. My premium is less a month than I was paying for my meds out of pocket and understand, everything else concerning my health was at risk and we would certainly face financial ruin if I needed any kind of serious medical care.

I chose a co-op plan. These plans were meant to bridge from insurance to a public option-type plan since there is no profit incentive and the overhead is similar to Medicare. Illinois grandfathered in on this grant. The GOP made Obama jettison this program in the 2012 budget deal, God damn them. Even in my doctor’s attitude, the difference between ‘yesterday’ and ‘today’ was astounding. Every one of the RWNJ’s should rot in hell for doing everything in their power to keep Americans sick and second class. Rot. In. Hell. “

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27
Mar
14

The President’s Day

@dougmillsnyt: President Obama meets with Pope Francis, March 27, at the Vatican

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10:15 AM: The President had an audience with Pope Francis

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11:25 AM: Met with Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin

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12:15 PM: Arrived the Quirinal Palace

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12:25 PM: Participated in a bilateral meeting with President Giorgio Napolitano of Italy, Quirinal Palace

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1:05 PM: Attended a working lunch with President Giorgio Napolitano of Italy

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2:20 PM: Arrived Villa Madama

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2:25 PM: Participated in a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Matteo Renzi of Italy, Villa Madama

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3:35 PM: Held a joint press conference with Prime Minister Renzi

Text of remarks here

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4:40 PM: Toured The Colosseum

@dougmillsnyt

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6:30 PM: Met with employees and families of the U.S. Tri-Mission to Italy, The Holy See, and the UN Agencies in Rome

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27
Mar
14

6 Million People!….Thank You ObamaCare

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HHS.Gov: 6 Million And Counting!

As this historic open enrollment period enters its final days, more than 6 million Americans have signed up for coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplaces since October 1, thanks to the Affordable Care Act. Those looking to get covered before the March 31st deadline still have time by visiting HealthCare.gov or by phone at 1-800-318-2596/TTY 1-855-889-4325. You can also find help in your community at localhelp.healthcare.gov.

Many of these more than 6 million Americans are sharing their stories of finding a new way to get quality, affordable health coverage through the Federal and State-based Marketplaces. A nonprofit worker from New Jersey, a theater artist from Chicago, IL, and an opera singer from Austin, TX are all among the millions of Americans now enjoying the peace of mind and security that comes with quality, affordable health coverage.

More here

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Think Progress: BREAKING: Obamacare Enrollment Tops 6 Million

On Thursday, President Obama announced on a call with volunteers that the number of Americans who have enrolled in health insurance plans under Obamacare has hit six million. With several days left to go before open enrollment ends on March 31, the administration has met its target. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that Obamacare enrollment would hit six million by the end of its enrollment period. Although the CBO initially projected a seven million enrollment figure, that number was revised down after technological issues plagued the insurance marketplaces’ websites this past fall.

Just ten days ago, the Obama administration announced that enrollments had hit five million — meaning that the pace of enrollment has significantly picked up recently, and a million Americans enrolled in less than two weeks. The White House has always anticipated a last-minute surge in enrollment, since previous efforts to enroll Americans in government-run health care programs have demonstrated that people typically wait until the last minute to sign up.

More here

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Steve Benen: ACA Enrollment Tops 6 Million

The expectation all along was that health care enrollment through the Affordable Care Act would spike shortly before the March 31 deadline. As of this afternoon, those expectations are very much in line with reality. Remember, this total only refers to consumers who’ve signed up for private coverage through exchange marketplaces. It doesn’t include Americans who’ve gained coverage through Medicaid expansion. For that matter, clearing the 6-million milestone is an important threshold, but there’s still time remaining in the open-enrollment period and it’s not unrealistic to think we’ll see 6.2 million by next week.

It’s easy to forget, but this seemed like a pipe dream last fall. In October, the first month of the open-enrollment period, just 106,185 consumers signed up for insurance through an exchange – causing Republicans to not only celebrate, but to openly mock the system by noting a variety of sports venues that hold more than 106,185 attendees.It was obviously proof, we were told at the time, that the Affordable Care Act itself was “hurtling toward failure.” Oops.

More here

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Jonathan Cohn: Obamacare Enrollment Surge: More Than 6 Million Have Signed Up

More than 6 million Americans have bought private insurance through the Affordable Care Act’s new marketplaces, the Administration announced on Thursday. And it appears that people are signing up at a faster pace than ever. If signups passed 6 million sometime on Tuesday, that would mean about 1.75 million had signed up for coverage in March, with several days to go. Average daily enrollment works out to about 70,000, given the method the Department of Health and Human Services uses for accounting. The average daily enrollment in December, when people were rushing to get coverage in time for January, was about 63,000.

But it also isn’t hard to find stories of people grateful to get insurance that, for the first time, is available to all Americans regardless of pre-existing conditions. Nor is it difficult to find people grateful that they can finally afford coverage, thanks either to newly expanded Medicaid programs or the financial assistance—worth, in some cases, thousands of dollars a year—through the marketplaces. And the fact that enrollment will probably be close to the original projections suggests that the law is working more or less like it’s supposed to work. Whether that’s good or bad, obviously, is a matter of opinion. Most readers are familiar with mine.

More here

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Think Progress: 12 Times Republicans Claimed Nobody Would Sign Up For Obamacare

President Obama’s announcement on Thursday that six million people signed-up for coverage through the Affordable Care Act — meeting and exceeding the administration’s deadline days before the March 31st enrollment period — undermines critics who seized on the law’s troubled early rollout to predict that measure could never attract enough Americans to succeed. Below are some of the worst predictions after the administration published the first enrollment figures in

November of 2013: 1. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) “Above all, this report is a symbol of the failure of the President’s health care law… It is a rolling calamity that must be scrapped. [CNN] 2. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) “Pretty stunning…Just another day in a series of mess-ups in Obamacare.”

More here

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Continue reading ‘6 Million People!….Thank You ObamaCare’

27
Mar
14

The Colosseum

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President Obama, with Barbara Nazzaro, Technical Dir. and Architect of the Colosseum, tours the Colosseum in Rome

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