Topic: Affordable Care Act
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December 3, 2013 at 7:32 AM
Single-payer system can standardize medical costs (call this writer)
Regarding the costs of health care, Paul Krugman need only repeat the indisputable facts about single-payer systems. Single Payer systems all around the world average 10 percent of GDP while we spend 20 percent of GDP anually in the U.S. on health care [“Obamacare’s secret success,” Opinion, Dec. 1].
Statistics show how only a single-payer system can control costs best into the future. That’s the only reason we’re all talking about health care in the first place.
These facts prove that the Affordable Care Act is nothing but a shameful continuation of the massively corrupt health-care mess in this country. At least 30 of the authors of the ACA are now “consultants,” helping corporations navigate the dizzying law.
October 28, 2013 at 6:58 AM
Congressional members responsible for delayed budget
Interesting that many view the launch of the Obamacare health law as a dismal failure, many senators who voted for the start of the program now say it should be delayed [“Shutdown delays IRS tax-filing season,” News, Oct. 23].
This is all the House of Representatives wanted in an exchange for their budget approval. This of course is what caused the government shutdown. It appears then that the government shutdown could have been avoided had these senators realized the Affordable Care Act was not ready for public consumption on Oct. 1.
This leaves almost everyone scratching their heads as to why we didn’t have enough senators who approved the House version of the budget, which could have avoided the shutdown and allowed the Obama administration time to get the website ready for signing up. Let’s all hope that everyone remembers how this all played out when the 2014 elections roll around.
Ed Anderson, Kirkland
October 25, 2013 at 7:07 AM
Individuals states should focus to remedy health-care glitch
Contrasting the two articles in The Seattle Times about the states that are successfully signing up enrollees in the Affordable Care Act and those that cannot sign up using the national website, it seems to me the solution to this problem is hiding in plain sight [“Obama concedes tech glitches but defends health-care law,” page one, Oct. 22].
Why doesn’t the federal government simply take the best of the state-developed, working health-care-enrollment websites (California, Kentucky, or Washington state for example) and use those? As government funding has already paid for those software solutions, it seems to me that you should be able to simply plug in the datasets from another state and quickly get each state up and rolling in quick order. A well-designed software solution would make it easy to plug in new data and new connections without disrupting the underlying code since these state solutions already have anticipated the need for annual changes.
If we break the problem down into a smaller steps and apply a proven solution, we should be able to bring states online one at a time.
Instead of trying to have one humongous solution for those states that dumped this responsibility on the federal government, focus on getting one state up each day and enrolling people. Microsoft and Google, among others, already have server space available in their server farms that could be used to house these state-specific solutions in quick order.
Dennis McClellan, Kent
October 24, 2013 at 7:26 PM
Why not change Obamacare? That’s the way our democracy is designed to work
The Republican Party is obsessed with repealing Obamacare, as the House of Representatives has voted 40 plus times for repeal. The Republican-controlled House was willing to partially shut down our government for 16 days, and tried to hold our country hostage by not raising the debt ceiling [“Obama concedes tech glitches but defends health-care law,” page one, Oct. 22].
It is estimated that $24 billion was lost from our economy during those 16 days, and the gross domestic product for the year was lowered from 3 percent to 2.4 percent during this manufactured crisis, which was completely avoidable.
The Affordable Care Act was passed into law by the House, the Senate, signed by the president and upheld as constitutional by the Supreme Court. In the 2012 election, one of Mitt Romney’s campaign promises was that if elected president he would repeal Obamacare, and he was soundly defeated.
Why not change Obamacare? That’s the way our democracy is designed to work.
Go out and work hard to elect members of Congress and a president who can make that change. Members of the House are up for re-election in 2014, Sen. Patty Murray in 2016, Sen. Maria Cantwell in 2018 and the president in 2016. But until you elect a Congress and president who would repeal Obamacare, why not work to improve it? And maybe by the time that ever happens, you will come to like Obamacare.
Lee Bowen, Sequim
October 23, 2013 at 7:27 PM
Your article “Obama taps experts to fix online snags in care plan” [page one, Oct. 21] is interesting to me.
As a college student in my mid-20s, I am finding myself needing to sign up for my own health insurance at the same time as President Obama’s health-care reforms are taking effect.
I had previously heard about the frozen computer screens and other software glitches that other people were experiencing as they attempted to sign up for health insurance, and was concerned about using the software myself. It is good to know that President Obama and his staff are doing the best they can to fix the health-care sign-up software as more and more people are looking to get signed up for the health-care exchange.
Kristin Ford, Auburn
October 8, 2013 at 7:31 PM
Hikes in price do not look promising
As tragic as it is, Paul Krugman’s column is most likely correct. ["Health-care reform is here to stay," opinion, Oct 6].
It is a sad day for many, even though several are still learning that truth Krugman used an already tired line regarding the Republicans and their fear of Obamacare’s success or failure. To this, it really is more a point of view rather than anything else. From the point of view of people I know, it’s a horrible failure.
People have lost huge amounts of working hours due to companies cutting back to avoid paying insurance for their employees. Some have lost jobs entirely. Others who already have insurance have seen their monthly amounts go up to unreasonable amounts. One person I know went from $250 to more than $1100 per month. She checked the exchanges and found nothing she could afford there either; We are told there are good rates on the exchanges, but I have talked to many people and haven’t heard of one yet.
So if Obamacare’s point of view was to have people earn less money, be mandated to purchase something they can’t afford or face the IRS over penalties, then by all means it’s a great success.
Eric Vane, Seattle
October 6, 2013 at 7:04 AM
Go broke or break the law?
Mr. President, twice the cost for half of the coverage. Is that affordable care? [“A user’s guide: 20 things to know about the Affordable Care Act,” Section J, Sept. 22].
Today Mr. President, I learned from Group Health Cooperative, my insurance provider in Washington state, that my HSA Insurance plan(premium $323 per month) was canceled and the new policy will have a premium will be $532.67 per month and my “deductible/out of pocket maximum” is changing from $2,750/$5,500 to $4,000/$8,000. Is that affordable health care?
Mr. President, I am 60 years young, I have a healthy lifestyle and have always carried my own insurance. Unlike the U.S. government I have gone to great lengths to keep my cost of living down. Hence I did the research to find an Health Savings Account Plan that did not cover pregnancy. Now pregnancy is covered — just-in-case!
What happened to keeping my plan and keeping my doctors? With the new plan none of my doctors are in network. To see them will cost 80 percent more.
The federal debt is already despicable. Now you want responsible citizens, who up until now have managed their own money more responsibly than the government, to go into the poor house rather then break the law.
Of course you, Congress, and your staff who wrote the law for the other 350 million, will be supplemented.
Marjorie Masel, Seattle
October 4, 2013 at 4:29 PM
America should focus on its own disadvantaged
Dear Sen. Paul and Rep. Reichert:
We have known for decades that the U.S. health-care system leaves tens of
millions of Americans uninsured. At the same time, Canada and most
if not all European countries have systems in place which provide care
to all their citizens at half the cost of care in this country and with much better outcomes.
There have been times since World War II when the Republicans have
had complete control of the government such as under President Regan and
more recently President Bush. My question is: ”Why didn’t your party
come up with solutions which would provide care to every one and
not bankrupt them or the country?”
Even now your party does not have a plan which would ensure every American gets care that is affordable. It seems the only game your party is good at is starting unfunded wars which the country ends up losing, leaving countries such as Iraq in worst shape than they were before we attacked them.
You express concern about the debt limit being raised when your party is
a little more guilty in regard to the huge debt the country has incurred due to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and tax breaks for the wealthy who could well afford to pay more taxes since many of them have enough money to buy multimillion dollars houses only to tear them down to build even more expensive houses.
At the same time it is the least fortunate of Americans who have and continue to make sacrifices to fight wars and sustain military
presence in over a 144 countries and provide billions of dollars in aid to rich countries like Israel.
I have been waiting for answers for decades as to why America cares so
little for its own disadvantage citizens.
Looking forward to answers.
George Whitaker, Bellevue
GOP to blame for health-law stagnancy
Your headline, [“Health law’s rollout to reignite battle,” News, Sept. 22] is grossly misleading and unfair. There’s nothing for the Democrats to compromise about, and no one to compromise with.
The Affordable Care Act is law, and it was reaffirmed by both the U.S. Supreme Court and by President Obama’s re-election. The Republicans, though, are against it, not because they’re afraid it will fail but because they’re afraid it will succeed, making Obama and the Democrats look good.
It’s more than unfortunate that the GOP is entrenched in its radical willingness to sacrifice the full faith and credit of the United States in order to achieve their goals.
Tim Walsh, Seattle
October 4, 2013 at 6:34 AM
Quotes for new policies see some plans double in rate
I am a 59-year-old male in good health. [“While political war rages, historic part of health law starts,” page one, Oct. 1.] I have a family of five and currently have a high deductible health plan in conjunction with a Health Savings Account.
I just received quotations for new policies and my rates have effectively doubled. I will now have to pay in excess of $20,000 per year before receiving any benefits.
I have previously been a supporter of Obamacare, but for those who maintained that rates would not be changed, they are simply wrong. Obamacare will cost me $10,000 per year in additional medical costs. It should be repealed.
James B. Parsons, Bellevue
September 29, 2013 at 7:56 AM
What is the alternative?
For those who believe that defunding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (also known as “Obamacare”) justifies the shutdown of the federal government and/or America’s default on its financial obligations by not raising the debt ceiling, please do one thing. [“Obamacare foe presses fight,” News, Sept. 25.]
Explain to the rest of us, who believe Obamacare is needed health-care reform, what health-care reform you would propose in its place. In the clamor about the adoption of a new fiscal year’s budget, raising the debt ceiling and defunding Obamacare, I’ve yet to hear what those who oppose Obamacare would replace it with.
Now, if you respond that health-care reform is unneeded in our country, then I would ask you, how do you compare America’s decline in the performance rankings with other developed countries in major health and health-care indicators?
America spends more per capita on the health-care industry than any other developed country, yet our outcomes are second tier. Why is that?
Finally, once you’ve answered these questions, why is the U.S. “defense” industry, and budget line, so sacrosanct in these budget discussions, when the U.S. spends nearly as much as the next 15 countries combined?
Robert Rench, Seattle
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