Published: Thu, October 06, 2016
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Millions may be skipping help with insurance bills

We need a national health program that would ensure that everyone has affordable access to all essential health care services.

· We are working with issuers to provide consumers with more and better information about the Marketplace.

Sylvia Burwell's Interview with Washington Bureau Chief on a special edition of "The Politically Incorrect Podcast."

In many counties, consumers will see higher premiums and fewer insurers, as Aetna, Humana and UnitedHealth have curtailed their participation in the exchanges, and numerous nonprofit insurance cooperatives, created with federal money, have shut down.

Cato Institute scholar Jeffrey Singer believes the public option is nothing more than a sleight of hand and "would eliminate competition, not increase it". Both steps could have led to more people with health problems enrolling in plans than had before.

With GOP pundits saying it is a failure and the Democrats saying it is a success it was time to do some digging on the benefits of the act. "We need to give states more flexibility and individuals more choices so more people can buy low-priced insurance".

They say that factors contributing to the highly cost-effective care include the domestic manufacturing of supplies, the use of a specialized workforce and standardized protocols (including operating rooms with more than one operating table per surgeon, which allows for fast transitions between operations), and the presence of few regulatory hurdles to be overcome.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was never about protecting patients or making care more affordable.

The October issue of Health Affairs, a variety issue, includes several reports detailing aspects of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) at a time when the latest census data shows the smallest-ever share of the USA population without health insurance. "If these individuals instead purchased qualified health plans (QHPs) through the Marketplace, tax credits that could cover part of the cost of their premiums would be available". "In terms of Medicaid and managed care, we're seeing across the country increased penetration where more populations are moving into managed care plans". The most recent projections show health care costing 18.1 percent of GDP this year. Even if premiums and tax credits rise, the overall cost of the ACA is still below CBO's original projections. Enrollment is also lower than originally projected. That means the 2016 insurer collection - the final year of the program - will nearly certainly fall short of paying what CMS owes to cover insurers' losses in 2014, 2015, and 2016. Variations in provider network and drug formulary makeup from plan to plan can offer consumers meaningful choice.

It was always intended as a way to increase government control of the health care sector, while providing a huge financial windfall to insurance companies. "We want more and more competition, we are fortunate that Florida has a healthy competition but there are some others that do not".

The marketplace will face an important test in the fourth yearly open enrollment season.

Insurers had paid $363 million into the program during its first year in 2014, but that total was ultimately far short of the $2.87 billion in payments sought by insurers to make up for poorer finances that year. They saved an average of $34 per month. Some experts, however, say more people are covered under the ACA than just through the exchanges, they're just becoming eligible for Medicaid under state expansion efforts. Writing earlier this year at, Ippolito suggests lowering the cost for young adults or pushing them toward the exchanges by eliminating the under-26 provision of the ACA.

The fierce struggle to enact and carry out the Affordable Care Act was supposed to put an end to 75 years of fighting for a health care system to insure all Americans.

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