Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Affordable Obama Care Act – Government Funded Groups Use Campaign Model – Failure to enroll targeted groups in significant numbers – Enrollees still not paying premiums – Are they enrolled?

The New York Times attempt at writing a glowing piece on enrollment campaigns for Obama Care (which is the Affordable Health Care Act) is somewhat disingenuous, although the title “Obama’s Vote-Getting Tactics Struggle to Find the Uninsured”, may suggest otherwise. The story speaks to the difficulty canvassers using the Presidents’ campaign model (and prior campaign staff members) is having difficulty:

The hunt for the uninsured in Broward County got underway one recent afternoon when 41 canvassers, armed with electronic maps on Samsung tablets, set off through working-class neighborhoods to peddle the Affordable Care Act door to door. Four hours later, they had made contact with 2,623 residents and signed up exactly 25 people (New York Times)

They are using targeting, to find those individuals that most likely would “benefit’ from enrolling in the mandated plan. Many of their targets, people identified on sophisticated computer lists generated in Washington as unlikely to have health insurance, had moved away. Some were not home. Many said they already had insurance through Medicare, their parents or a job. A few were hostile at the mere mention of President Obama’s health care law. “We’re going to repeal that,” one man said gruffly as he shut the door in the face of a canvasser, Nancy Morwin, 58, a retired social worker.
New York Times

Who is running the campaign – and to what end?

The campaign is staffed by organizations deploying thousands of paid and volunteer canvassers across the country. Planned Parenthood, one of the most aggressive groups, has raised millions of dollars for the effort. It is paying about 400 workers like Ms. Morwin $12 an hour. They are knocking on an average of 18,000 doors a day in eight states: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas.

Enroll America, a nonprofit group that is trying to expand the health care rolls, has hired 266 people and recruited 14,000 volunteers to not only canvass neighborhoods but also make calls at phone banks and host events at community colleges in 11 states. The group has also spent $7 million to advertise on the Internet.
(New York Times)

Therefore what we have is government funded groups paying volunteers to knock on doors in the hopes that they will increase the enrollment of a government funded plan – to date the New York Times estimates there are 3.3 million insured under the Affordable Obama Care Plan. The article continues in a hopeful vein, suggesting that the numbers will increase, yet does not mention that fact that those enrolled may have difficulty proving they have coverage at all, nor the impact on the taxpayer, many of whom have seen drastic increases in premiums or have lost their insurance altogether due to the mandates under the Affordable Obama Care Plan.

One of the difficulties in tracking enrollees is that the the plan fails to bill enrollees, simply because they never built the system (computer)to bill those that had signed up on the site to begin with! (Kaiser Health News). Therefore if one hasn’t paid a premium, is one truly insured? That seems to be the question for those attempting to receive health care.

Additionally, those most likely to benefit would be the insurance carriers themselves, due to the fact that Obama care reimburses insurance companies for any losses due to many claims as the young and healthy aren’t signing up in droves (even though one would not be able to actually be confident one was insured) – the New York Post considers this arrangement a Bailout -or another example of government – corporate collusion that has a hefty price tag that must be paid for by –the taxpayer. – More on that note from Insurance Networking News article “Obama care’s Outrageous Bailout for the Insurers -Obamacare has always depended, both operationally and politically, on an alliance between the administration and insurance companies. But that alliance is vulnerable.”worth the read.

Given the above scenario –that government funded groups, are having difficulty increasing the numbers of enrollees in a government mandated and funded plan, which said enrollees are not billed for and technically not insured, while promising the insurance companies who must pay claims once these individuals are treated, suggests a system that is beyond the pale – incompetent and costly. Which is why, there are some who believe that bigger government or government involvement into the private sector (Healthcare) is a really bad idea. The simplest fix: Those that are not able to buy insurance due to income levels should be able to enroll in Medicaid – the ridiculous limit on insurance carriers in states in general, should be removed, and a federal law (commerce clause here), instituted that allows all insurance carriers to compete nationwide – thus dropping the premiums due to an increased pool, and the laws of competition. Remove the mandates with one exception, mandatory physical exams yearly at no cost, thereby allowing insurance companies to offer “a-la-carte options for plans” that would vary in price and fit the individual consumer. There would be no need for mandated coverage, thus removing the IRS and any penalties to consumers, saving the taxpayer further and with more money in their pockets, further enhancing the economy.

That’s simplistic of course, and would work of cause, which is why it is not even remotely on the table.

There is always 2014 and 2016 – yet, in the meantime, the level of incompetence is stunning while the odds of a failing system are increasing.

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