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Articles by Donald E. L. Johnson

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Today is Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Health insurance

Health insurance reform proposals, legislation

Sen. Ted Cruz is a smart conservative, wrong on social issues; ready for prime time?

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is building a strong base among conservatives who want a strong, honest and smart president, but he is such a mindless social issues radical on gay marriage and abortion that his chances of getting to the White House don't look very good. In the Saturday, April 19, Wall Street Journal, Cruz is profiled as the guy other senators fear and don't like and the rest of the country's conservatives admire for his smarts, courage and integrity. Here are four reasons I like Cruz and six reasons I wonder how far he can go:

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 04/19/14 at 08:21 AM
EthicsTrustHealth insuranceMedicareImmigration ReformTaxes • (0) CommentsRead More

Journalists who accept Obama’s claim that 7.1 million signed up for ObamaCare can’t be trusted

The Wall Street Journal's headline writers and most of the media proved that they can't be trusted when they promoted President Obama's blatant lie that 7.1 million people have signed up and enrolled in ObamaCare. Everyone knows that huge percentages of those who signup never pay their ObamaCare health insurance premiums to insurers. Indeed, one insurer says that only 53% of previously uninsured signups pay their premiums. How many will continue to pay their premiums after insurers pay for their initial claims, which will be huge, remains to be seen. The ObamaCare numbers released by Obama so far are pretty meaningless. ObamaCare will never be repealed in full, but Obama already has used his executive orders to unlawfully change the law. Here are a few of the law's big problems as I see them:

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 04/05/14 at 03:45 PM
EthicsTrustHealth insuranceHealth Insurance ReformMedicaidMedia • (0) CommentsRead More

Mark Udall votes for ObamaCare and with Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi 99% of the time

Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) is notorious for voting against Colorado and with the hardest left Democrats, Obama, Sen. Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, 99% of the time, according to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which, of course, is backing Rep. Cory Gardner's attempt to unseat Udall in next November's election. Here's the NRSC's latest opposition research against Udall:

No reason to believe 6 million have signed up for ObamaCare, much less enrolled

President Barack Obama is claiming that 6 million people have signed up—not necessarily enrolled — in ObamaCare. Does anybody believe anything Obama says about ObamaCare or anything else? No reason to believe him. Lots of reasons to not believe him. He's trying to rush people into signing up for ObamaCare with lies about signups, which are meaningless.

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 03/27/14 at 04:31 PM
EthicsTrustHealth insuranceHealth Insurance Reform • (0) CommentsRead More

Mark Udall kills VA, Vets health benefits bill with pork, gimmicks

Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) helped kill a senate bill that would have restored benefits to our veterans and ensured their access to health care for  medical problems related to their service. Udall and Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) voted for the bill that died because it is full of pork and provisions that would have paid for veterans medical care that had nothing to do with their military service. Those provision would have made VA health care even more of a single payer plan and would have overwhelmed VA hospitals and clinics to the point that they would not be able to serve the veterans who need to have their military-related injuries and traumas treated. This is just another example of how Udall and Bennet let the most corrupt senate majority leader in history, Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), lead them around like the lemmings and hacks that they are.

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 03/01/14 at 07:36 AM
ColoradoElections '14UdallCongress 113thHealth insuranceHealthcare ProvidersVA • (0) CommentsPermalink

American Cancer Society hypes ObamaCare

The American Cancer Society has released a study that it says shows that young uninsured people are more likely to have late stage cancers than their insured peers are, but the study makes little sense. The news release is basically a public relations gambit designed to convince younger people that they should sign up for the terribly expensive and poorly designed ObamaCare (ACA). 

CMS Obama Democrats making Medicare Part D drug program more expensive for seniors
In 2003, I blogged frequently against Medicare Part D, which provides drug subsides for seniors. Now I'm a beneficiary. 

Poverty traps: Medicaid, food stamps, unemployment compensation, Social Security disability benefits

ObamaCare is what Rep. Paul Ryan (D-Wis.) accurately calls a "Poverty Trap".

15 questions Republicans are asking gubernatorial candidates

The audience at the North Suburban Republican Forum had about 15 questions last Saturday for the three candidates for the GOP’s nomination to challenge Gov. John Hickenlooper next November. These same questions probably are being asked around the state as the candidates work to visit all 64 counties even though only about 12 counties have most of the votes.

Mark Udall should have easy win over Ken Buck, Amy Stephens, Own Hill; he’s blowing it on ObamaCare

Sen. Mark Udall should easily beat one of the Republicans who are seeking the GOP nomination to take him on—Ken Buck, Amy Stephens or Owen Hills. 

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 01/12/14 at 01:35 PM
ColoradoElections '14BuckHillStephensUdallEnergyHealth insuranceHealth Insurance ReformRead More

What people who don’t buy ObamaCare (ACA) can do to manage self insurance risks

Smart young people who don't have pre-existing medical conditions are deciding to self insure rather than enroll in hugely expensive insurance plans sold on ObamaCare (ACA) health exchanges. If they self insure, I think they should understand their risks and know how to deal with a huge medical bill if they are hurt in an accident or are stricken by an expensive illness. Some ideas:


RNC, GOP should not sell out to U.S. Chamber of Commerce, The Business Roundtable

Republicans won't win elections with candidates who are just sound bite specialists and empty suits and who sell out to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable. 

Real fixes for ObamaCare (Affordable Care Act)

Congress and pundits are proposing shallow, ineffective fixes for ObamaCare, which is the nickname for the Affordable Care Act. Of course, ObamaCare is just as unaffordable as expected by those who read at least parts of the act and wrote about it in 2009 and 2010. I've written several times about how I think ObamaCare should and could be fixed if only Obama wanted to fix it. Here's my latest version, which I posted in the comments section of below an article: Why ObamaCare isn't so easily fixed, by Sam Baker:

Why are individuals’ health insurance premiums soaring on ObamaCare exchanges,

So far, neither President Obama nor Congress have proposed real fixes for ObamaCare. There is a lot of grandstanding going on while people who've been notified that they will have to find new health insurance plans sit and worry about what will happen after Dec. 31 when their current plans will be cancelled.

I'm pretty well convinced that Obama and HHS Sec. Kathleen Sebelius have the power to rewrite what The Wall Street Journal editorial pages says are changes in eight regulations so that insurers and state insurance commissioners can decide whether current health insurance polices can be renewed. Many states are trying to get insurers to extend the policies that have been cancelled as required by the regulations that were written as far back as 2010 by Sebelius. More states aren't going along with the Obama nonfix.

Putting asside the constitutional questions about the changes in the Sebelius rules, I have some more thoughts and questons:

1. Individual policies offered by the Blues, Kaiser, Aetna and UnitedHealth are good plans that cover catastrophic health care cases, but with lifetime limits until ObamaCare rules kicked in. These companies' plans don't comply with ObamaCare and are being taken off the market.
2. Hundreds of small, state and regional insurers offer low premium plans that don't cover even catastrophic losses very well. They're the real targets of ObamaCare. Think about the old Golden Rule.
3. ObamaCare is loaded with pork for academic medical centers, hospitals, AARP, health insurers, pharmaceutical companies and unions. That is why it is so expensive.
4. That the faculty at medical schools like Yale are being shut out of ObamaCare networks by insurers like UnitedHealth is a well deserved punishment for their money- and power-greedy hard left medical professors and hospital administrators. They deserve to lose their contracts with insurers under the ACA, imo.
5. While I strongly oppose ObamaCare because it is a Big Intrusive Government gift to the Moocher Nation and crooks, I have long supported community rating, which is at least a small part of the cause of the surge in premiums for the individually insured. I think the young should be in the same risk pool that seniors are in and that they will be in when they become seniors, as their parents and grandparents are.
I'd like to see a breakout of what is causing the surge in premiums: Community rating, which insurers hate and want to defeat? Mandated benefits for worthless wellness and preventive care that should be paid for by consumers out of their pockets? Increased marketing and administrative costs created by the need to market to individuals instead of to groups under ObamaCare and the exchanges? Or just premium increases that are needed to cover the insurers costs under the 80% rule? Lots of unanswered questions.

Until ObamaCare (ACA) law is changed, it can’t be “fixed”
"Glitches" aren't #ObamaCare's biggest problems. 
The biggest problem is that the law is unworkable, mandates worthless preventive care and wellness benefits, offers free primary care to the lonely well, and implements community rating instantly rather than over an acceptable transition period of several years. 
Make deductibles workable and affordable for the low income people who ObamaCare supposedly is intended to help. Create payment plans so that the deductibles can be paid off over three to five years. As now structured, the high deductibles, which I support for those who can afford them, will force more medical bankruptcies, not fewer.
Make it very difficult and expensive to defraud ObamaCare, Medicare and Medicaid. Think jail, huge fines. Maybe we need a special court and prosecutors/public defenders for health care fraudsters.
Breakup healthcare provider and insurer monopolies and oligopolies so that consumers will have real choices on the exchanges. Let private enterprises other than insurers or insurance brokers create, run and profit from health care exchanges. Get the incompetent, politically driven bureaucrats and politicians out of the health care exchange business.
Fix the law so that it will work for consumers and so that it can be sold on the Web. If you're not willing to admit mistakes and keep doing the same dumb things over and over, you're insane.
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