Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Woman gets $36,000 medical bill because hospital not covered by Obamacare gold plan

From KOMO News.

Excerpt:

Alex Szablya just wants the best health care she can get for her children. So she got a gold plan, the highest level possible with the Washington Health Benefit Exchange.  She picked a plan with Lifewise, an affiliate of Premera Blue Cross.

In early March, her 16-year old daughter had a medical emergency. Alex drove her to the nearest hospital, which was Seattle Children’s. Alex says doctors there felt her daughter’s situation was so dire she needed to be admitted to the hospital immediately. She was there for nine days.

Then came news that her stay, which involved specialized mental health care for adolescents, was going to cost $36,000 and her insurance would only pay for half because Seattle Children’s was considered on out-of-network facility.

She thought by going for the highest premium PPO gold level coverage offered the state exchange, a majority of the bill would have been covered.

“I’m paying a premium for that and I’m willing to pay that premium, but I expect to get services that are not so limited by the insurance companies,” she said.

She’s not alone. Seattle Children’s says its treated more than 125 patients who are not covered by policies offered by the exchange. In October, the hospital filed suit against the Office of the Insurance Commissioner, claiming the state office failed to ensure adequate network coverage in plans from its biggest providers like Premera Blue Cross.

“Because Seattle Children’s was not included in the major plans, children coming for care here were going to be denied care and in fact that’s what we are seeing,” said Dr. Sandy Melzer, senior vice president and chief strategy officer for Seattle Children’s.

Alex says Lifewise offered similar alternative care at other hospitals but it required traveling a three hour drive to Yakima or a two hour trip and ferry ride to Bremerton.  Children’s is a five minute car ride from her north Seattle home.

“This limited network is preventing me to get the specialty services that my children and I need in this community,” Aex said.  She’s now facing an $18,000 hospital bill she wasn’t prepared for.

Here’s a sketch from Chris Rock (whom I can’t stand) explaining the Obamacare Gold Plan:

Well, I don’t see why this is a problem, because the Obamacare Gold Plan covers all the birth control pills that she could possibly need, and at any hospital. It’s Sandra Fluke approved! Why isn’t this greedy reactionary Seattle woman thanking Obama for saving her from all those worthless private health care plans that existed before Obamacare? After all, the only reason that Obama lied to us about lowering premiums, keeping our doctors and our health plans is because those old private insurance plans were garbage compared to the Robitussin Gold Plan. 

Please can we elect someone who understands health care policy in 2016?

Filed under: News, , , , , ,

Undercover video: Obamacare navigators tell applicants to lie and defraud taxpayers

Secret agent James O’Keefe is once again doing the work that the liberal media won’t do.

The Heritage Foundation reports.

Excerpt:

Lie and defraud taxpayers – that’s what Obamacare “navigators” are telling some Americans trying to sign up for health insurance.

James O’Keefe, whose Project Veritas helped expose ACORN with an undercover investigation, has a new video focusing on Obamacare “navigators” in Texas, who received grants to provide in-person assistance to Americans signing up for Obamacare.

For example, a navigator told an undercover Project Veritas Investigator that he did not have to quit smoking to lower his health insurance premiums—she said that all he had to do was lie.

“You lie because your premiums will be higher,” said an Obamacare navigator assistant at the NUL Irving Community Center. She also admitted that she always lies on her forms.

A Project Veritas investigator also posed as a college student asking for help filling out his insurance forms. He told the navigator that he is employed by his university but also performs side jobs like cutting hair and cleaning houses. He admitted that he never included his income from side jobs when filing taxes.

“Mrs. Dorothy,” an Obamacare navigator at the National Urban League, told him that he is supposed to file a percentage of that income, but she added, “Don’t get yourself in trouble by declaring it now.”

She told him to file only what the government can see.

“Because if you show more than that then you open yourself up to an audit,” she said. “Because the IRS will be – has access to this information. Because that’s how they determine what your eligibility is for the [HHS] grants.”

Lakisha Williams, a navigator in Dorothy’s office listening in on the conversation, said to act as though it never happened. “Never report it,” she said.

These examples show that Obamacare navigators are encouraging applicants to lie and defraud the government to get access to more taxpayer money. As if that weren’t bad enough, Heritage’s Chris Jacobs has warned that navigators could pose a security risk.

Jacobs wrote, “Because their job involves helping Americans figure out their insurance options, navigators will often have access to sensitive personal information—bank accounts, Social Security numbers, insurance identification, and more. Yet navigators will not be required to undergo background checks, and the process for filing complaints about unscrupulous navigators remains unclear at best.”

In fact, even convicted felons are eligible to be Obamacare “navigators”. I think that this is just Obama paying off all of the “community organizers” who helped get him elected. Recall that Obama has connections to the radical leftist ACORN organization, and they were exposed for voter fraud. So this isn’t surprising at all. Obama is also connected to Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the nation, and they have also been exposed for urging people to commit crimes. This is not even to get started on Obama’s campaign fundraisers who got rewarded with tax dollars for green energy companies that later went bankrupt.

UPDATE: Republicans move fast to call for a halt to these Obamacare “navigators”, based on the video above.

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MUST-SEE: Founder of Tea Party group testifies in Congress about IRS fascism

Fox News reports on the testimony of Becky Gerritson.

Excerpt:

Becky Gerritson, President of Wetumpka Tea Party in Alabama, gave emotional and powerful testimony this morning during a hearing on how the IRS allegedly targeted her organization.

Gerritson spoke of demands asked of her ‘tiny group’ by the agency, including detailed contents of every speech ever given by someone involved in the Tea Party branch, copies of any communication sent to any member of a legislative body, including her own representatives, and the list goes on.

Gerritson fought back tears as she pointed her finger at the members of Congress sitting before her, saying of her group, “[we] had no party affiliation … It didn’t matter … the only notion expressed was that our representative government had failed us.”

“In Wetumpka, we are patriotic Americans; we peacefully assemble; we petition our government; we exercise our right to free speech. We don’t understand why the government tried to stop us. I’m not here as a serf or a vassal. I’m not begging my lord for mercy. I’m a born-free American woman, wife, mother, and citizen, and I’m telling my government that you’ve forgotten your place.”

She called the IRS’ demands a “willful act of intimidation to discourage a point of view” and “un-American.”

Gerritson again became choked up as she concluded her statement, saying, “I’m not interested in scoring political points. I want to preserve and protect the America that I grew up in. The America that people crossed oceans and risked their lives to become a part of, and I’m terrified it’s slipping away. Thank you very much.”

And more: here’s law professor John Eastman at the IRS hearings telling the truth:

It’s very sad for me to see that so many American people could vote for a regime that is essentially Stalinist in nature. We fought wars against tyrannical regimes, and now we’ve changed – now we vote them into power. We are too busy entertaining ourselves instead of informing ourselves enough to make the right decisions about our future.

Filed under: Videos, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Obama violates his own stimulus law by refusing to release status reports

The Weekly Standard reports.

Excerpt:

Have you heard much about President Obama’s $787,000,000,000 economic “stimulus” (now estimated to cost $831,000,000,000) lately?  In its last report, published in 2011, the president’s own Council of Economic Advisors released an estimate showing that, for every $317,000 in “stimulus” spending that had by then gone out the door, only one job had been created or saved.  Even in Washington, that’s not considered good bang for the buck.

Moreover, that was the fifth consecutive “stimulus” report that showed this number getting progressively worse.

Alas, that was the last report we’ve seen.  Never mind that Section 1513 of the “stimulus” legislation, which Obama spearheaded and signed into law, requires the executive branch to submit a new report every three months.  It reads:

“In consultation with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and the Secretary of the Treasury, the Chairperson of the Council of Economic Advisers shall submit quarterly reports to the Committees on Appropriations of the Senate and House of Representatives that detail the impact of programs funded through covered funds on employment, estimated economic growth, and other key economic indicators.”

[...]By now, [the Obama administration] was supposed to have released fourteen such reports.  It has released only eight.  The last one covered the period ending in June 2011.  That’s right — 2011.

With only 58.6 percent of Americans currently employed — down 2.4 percent from the time of Obama’s first inauguration — it’s not surprising that the Obama administration doesn’t really want to fulfill it legal responsibilities and release subsequent reports on its failed “stimulus.”  However, it hardly seems fair — to use one of Obama’s favorite words — that the rich and (extremely) powerful think that they can choose whether or not to abide by the laws they spearhead and sign, while the rest of us are forced to obey them.

I’m not surprised by this, because we all know that Democrats are the biggest tax cheats ever. It’s not surprising to me that they pass laws that they have no intention of following themselves, because they are hypocrites. The laws are meant to stop others from succeeding, but Democrats themselves always seem to be exempt. Just like the waivers that the big labor unions got from Obamacare. Poverty for thee, but not for me.\

Related posts

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Left-wing Newsweek’s cover story recommends dumping Barack Obama

Epic Budget Fail

Epic Budget Fail

From the radically left-wing Newsweek, of all places. (H/T Defeating Obama)

Excerpt:

[T]he total number of private-sector jobs is still 4.3 million below the January 2008 peak. Meanwhile, since 2008, a staggering 3.6 million Americans have been added to Social Security’s disability insurance program. This is one of many ways unemployment is being concealed.

In his fiscal year 2010 budget—the first he presented—the president envisaged growth of 3.2 percent in 2010, 4.0 percent in 2011, 4.6 percent in 2012. The actual numbers were 2.4 percent in 2010 and 1.8 percent in 2011; few forecasters now expect it to be much above 2.3 percent this year.

Unemployment was supposed to be 6 percent by now. It has averaged 8.2 percent this year so far. Meanwhile real median annual household income has dropped more than 5 percent since June 2009. Nearly 110 million individuals received a welfare benefit in 2011, mostly Medicaid or food stamps.

Welcome to Obama’s America: nearly half the population is not represented on a taxable return—almost exactly the same proportion that lives in a household where at least one member receives some type of government benefit. We are becoming the 50–50 nation—half of us paying the taxes, the other half receiving the benefits.

And all this despite a far bigger hike in the federal debt than we were promised. According to the 2010 budget, the debt in public hands was supposed to fall in relation to GDP from 67 percent in 2010 to less than 66 percent this year. If only. By the end of this year, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), it will reach 70 percent of GDP. These figures significantly understate the debt problem, however. The ratio that matters is debt to revenue. That number has leapt upward from 165 percent in 2008 to 262 percent this year, according to figures from the International Monetary Fund. Among developed economies, only Ireland and Spain have seen a bigger deterioration.

Not only did the initial fiscal stimulus fade after the sugar rush of 2009, but the president has done absolutely nothing to close the long-term gap between spending and revenue.

His much-vaunted health-care reform will not prevent spending on health programs growing from more than 5 percent of GDP today to almost 10 percent in 2037. Add the projected increase in the costs of Social Security and you are looking at a total bill of 16 percent of GDP 25 years from now. That is only slightly less than the average cost of all federal programs and activities, apart from net interest payments, over the past 40 years. Under this president’s policies, the debt is on course to approach 200 percent of GDP in 2037—a mountain of debt that is bound to reduce growth even further.

And even that figure understates the real debt burden. The most recent estimate for the difference between the net present value of federal government liabilities and the net present value of future federal revenues—what economist Larry Kotlikoff calls the true “fiscal gap”—is $222 trillion.

[...][T]he Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010 did nothing to address the core defects of the system: the long-run explosion of Medicare costs as the baby boomers retire, the “fee for service” model that drives health-care inflation, the link from employment to insurance that explains why so many Americans lack coverage, and the excessive costs of the liability insurance that our doctors need to protect them from our lawyers.

[...]The president pledged that health-care reform would not add a cent to the deficit. But the CBO and the Joint Committee on Taxation now estimate that the insurance-coverage provisions of the ACA will have a net cost of close to $1.2 trillion over the 2012–22 period.

The president just kept ducking the fiscal issue. Having set up a bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, headed by retired Wyoming Republican senator Alan Simpson and former Clinton chief of staff Erskine Bowles, Obama effectively sidelined its recommendations of approximately $3 trillion in cuts and $1 trillion in added revenues over the coming decade. As a result there was no “grand bargain” with the House Republicans—which means that, barring some miracle, the country will hit a fiscal cliff on Jan. 1 as the Bush tax cuts expire and the first of $1.2 trillion of automatic, across-the-board spending cuts are imposed. The CBO estimates the net effect could be a 4 percent reduction in output.

The failures of leadership on economic and fiscal policy over the past four years have had geopolitical consequences. The World Bank expects the U.S. to grow by just 2 percent in 2012. China will grow four times faster than that; India three times faster. By 2017, the International Monetary Fund predicts, the GDP of China will overtake that of the United States.

This is a must-read article, and please share it with your friends, as well. It does cover Obama’s disastrous foreign policy as well, but the focus is on fiscal policy. The article ends with an assessment of Paul Ryan’s ability to fix the economic crisis that Obama created.

UPDATE: Niall Ferguson responds to a critique of this piece by Paul Krugman.

UPDATE: Niall Ferguson responds to critiques by shrill-shrieking left-wing bloggers.

Filed under: Commentary, , , , , , , , ,

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