Tag Archives: Obama Care

California Passes Ban on Any Short-Term Health Insurance That Cost Less Than Obamacare

The Democrat-controlled California legislature urged Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday to sign a ban on bargain-priced short-term health insurance plans sponsored by the Trump administration for being cheaper than Obamacare.

The legislature passed SB 910 on August 21 to prevent what the bill’s author, Sen. Edward Hernandez (D-Montebello), referred to in a tweet as “junk” healthcare. Hernandez urged Gov. Brown to sign the bill to prevent going back to a time when insured patients could be denied care and be forced into financial ruin.

The Trump administration rescinded a rule in late July issued during the Obama years that extended short-duration health insurance policies from three months to 364 days. Trump also allowed insurers the right to offer short-term health plans that are automatically renewable up to 3 years.

Obama restricted the term of short-term insurance, and required every adult to buy coverage, to force healthy young consumers to buy expensive Obamacare comprehensive policies to subsidize the cost of insurance for older and sicker consumers with pre-existing health conditions.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued the new rule to offer an affordable option for limited coverage due to skyrocketing prices for Obamacare.

The Heritage Foundation’s Doug Badger said in a research paper that limited duration health plans “offer broader choices of providers and lower premiums for people in good health than Obamacare policies.” He added that that the short-term policies were “offering a lifeboat enabling them to escape Obamacare’s sinking ship.”

Covered California, the Golden State’s Obamacare exchange, announced in July that the cost of health coverage for 2019 would rise by 8.7 percent. Although that is over 4 times the 2 percent U.S. inflation rate in 2017, the spike in health insurance premiums for the state-run marketplace was 12.5 percent in 2017.

The 2018 healthcare monthly premium for a single consumer purchasing a mid-level Silver policy on Covered California’s exchange was about $400 in Southern California and $500 in Northern California. That compares to the advertised price for a short-term policy of $91 per month.

Currently there are only about 10,000 Californians that are enrolled in 90-day short-term healthcare plans, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. But with the Trump administration ending the “individual mandate” penalty for failing to buy health insurance equivalent to Obamacare, the number enrolling in short-term policies may spike higher.

California has the authority to regulate healthcare within its borders, but as the Sacramento Bee reported, it would be the first state to pass legislation specifically banning short-term healthcare policies.

Source: by Chriss W. Street | Breitbart

Aetna Pulls Out Of Obamacare

Health insurer Aetna Inc (AET.N) said on Wednesday it will exit the 2018 Obamacare individual insurance market in Delaware and Nebraska – the two remaining states where it offered the plans.

Aetna has now “completely exited the exchanges,” the company said in an emailed statement.

Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives last week voted to undo the Affordable Care Act, often called Obamacare, the signature domestic achievement of former President Barack Obama.

But even if the Republicans’ bill – known as the American Health Care Act – is passed by the Senate it would not solve a critical outstanding issue for insurers looking at 2018: Will the government continue to fund the cost-sharing subsidies that help individuals pay for care?

By Deena Beasley | Reuters

Introducing “The American Opportunity Carbon Free Act”… what?

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse delivers a weekly speech on climate change on the Senate floor, a series he dubbed “Time to Wake Up.” (Photo credit: Office of Sen. Whitehouse)

Stupid American voters are being heavily conditioned by main stream media for the next massive tax increase before they’ve had a chance to deal with the last one, Obama Care.

Remember Cap and Trade? This one, “The American Opportunity Carbon Free Act”, reported as being formally discussed in the US Senate on a weekly basis since last November’s mid-term elections is a proposed tax on fossil fuels used by manufactures. This revenue act would also assess fees for other greenhouse gas emissions and tariffs on products from countries who aren’t taxing their manufactures in the same way.

Below is a prime example of how government has been using main stream media to scare stupid American voters into accepting the climate change lie behind “The American Opportunity Carbon Free Act”, before it ultimately gets crammed through congress like Obama Care. This makes me wonder if Jonathan Gruber, the highly compensated consultant architect of The Affordable Care Act, made famous for referring to the rest of us as “stupid American voters” have been hired to help sell this one too.

The key words and punch lines CBS editors built the following article around are highlighted in red. The same re-occurring themes found in all global warming / climate change propaganda articles.

Mega-Droughts To Become The New Normal


A stock pond south of Dallas dries up due to a drought. Conditions like this could become more commonplace in the later part of the 21st century due to global warming.

Large sections of the United States will endure “persistent droughts” in the coming decades that will be worse than anything experienced in the past 1,000 years.

Comparing the conditions to the Dust Bowl but lasting several decades, researchers writing in the journal Science Advances warned Thursday that the Southwest and Great Plains will be hit by these “mega-droughts” in the later part of the 21st century. Such events have been linked to the fall of civilizations, including the decline of the Anasazi, or Ancient Pueblo Peoples, in the Colorado Plateau in the late 13th century.

“The story is a bit bleak,” said Jason E. Smerdon, a co-author and climate scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, part of the Earth Institute at Columbia University. “Even when selecting for the worst mega drought-dominated period, the 21st century projections make (those) mega droughts seem like quaint walks through the Garden of Eden.”

86611.jpgA representation of the summer moisture in the US Central Plains and Southwest is shown. The brown line represents the variation in dryness since the year 1000; the lower the line on the graph, the drier the conditions. Colored lines to the right side of the graph represent what climate models see ahead: a trend toward dryness not seen in the previous millennium. Cook et al., Science Advances, 2015

To come up with these projections, researchers turned to the North American Drought Atlas which recreates the history of drought over the previous 2,005 years, based on hundreds of tree-ring chronologies, gleaned in turn from tens of thousands of tree samples across the United States, Mexico and parts of Canada.

Taking the Atlas data, they then applied three different measures of drought – two soil moisture measurements at varying depths, and a version of the Palmer Drought Severity Index, which gauges precipitation and evaporation and transpiration. After that, the researchers applied 17 different climate models to analyze the future impact of rising average temperatures on the regions and compared two different global warming scenarios – a continued rise in greenhouse gas emissions and one where they are moderated.

The results, according to the study, point to a “remarkably drier future that falls far outside the contemporary experience of natural and human systems in Western North America, conditions that may present a substantial challenge to adaption.”

“The surprising thing to us was really how consistent the response was over these regions, nearly regardless of what model we used or what soil moisture metric we looked at,” said lead author Benjamin I. Cook of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. “It all showed this really, really significant drying.”

Today, 11 of the past 14 years have been drought years in much of the American West, including California, Nevada, New Mexico and Arizona and across the Southern Plains to Texas and Oklahoma, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, a collaboration of U.S. government agencies.

The current drought directly affects more than 64 million people in the Southwest and Southern Plains, according to NASA, and many more are indirectly affected because of the impacts on agricultural regions. As a result, states have imposed water restrictions, aquifers have been drawn down and reservoirs such as Lake Meade and Lake Powell are at historic low levels.

“Changes in precipitation, temperature and drought, and the consequences it has for our society – which is critically dependent on our freshwater resources for food, electricity and industry – are likely to be the most immediate climate impacts we experience as a result of greenhouse gas emissions,” said Kevin Anchukaitis, a climate researcher at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Anchukaitis said the findings “require us to think rather immediately about how we could and would adapt.”

The current study on so-called medieval droughts adds to a large body of research linking climate to worsening droughts in parts of the Southwest. The driver, for the most part, is warming in recent decades brought on by increasing greenhouse gas emissions mostly from the burning of fossil fuels and other human activities.

“The results … are extremely unfavorable for the continuation of agricultural and water resource management as they are currently practiced in the Great Plains and southwestern United States,” David Stahle, professor in the Department of Geosciences at the University of Arkansas and director of the Tree-Ring Laboratory and who was not involved in the study, said.

Aiguo Dai, a University associate professor who did not take part in the study but has done studies on past and future droughts across the globe including the United States, said its findings were “fairly convincing” and hopefully will motivate policy makers to take action.

“This provides huge warning sign for society, for the governments to take action to slow down global warming,” Dai told CBS News. “If they don’t, its likely the Southwest could become unsuitable for agriculture or many other activities.”

© 2015 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.





American Seniors In Worse Shape Than Those In Other Nations


by Jason Olivia

The senior population in the U.S. is faring far worse than their counterparts living in other nations in terms of affording health care costs and getting the care they need, says a new international survey.

In the U.S., adults age 65 and older are sicker and more likely to struggle paying medical bills and getting the health care they need compared to their counterparts in 10 other industrialized countries, says the survey from The Commonwealth Fund, a private foundation that provides grants to support independent research focused on improving health care practice and policy.

The 2014 Commonwealth Fund International Health Policy Survey of Older Adults was conducted by phone from March through May of this year. More than 15,000 people age 65 and older participated in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the U.S.

While the study notes that all of the surveyed countries could do better to improving conditions for their elderly populations, The Commonwealth Fund found that the U.S. was home to the sickest of seniors.

Of the Americans age 65 and older who participated, the survey found 87% have at least one chronic illness, while 68% have two or more—the highest rates among the 11 countries analyzed. 

Additionally, more than half (53%) of U.S. respondents reported taking four or more medications—also the highest among other nations—and 25% of American seniors saw four or more doctors in the past year, second only to Germany (39%). 

The U.S. also stood out for having the most 65 and older adults reporting they skipped needed health care because of costs (19%). Moreover, these older adults were also most likely to report they had trouble paying for their medical bills (11%).

In contrast, only 3% of older adults in France skipped health care due to cost-related struggles, while only 1% in Norway and Sweden said they struggled to pay medical bills. 

U.S. seniors’ cost woes aren’t necessarily unfounded as older Americans spend more than their counterparts in other countries for poorer access to health care.

“Despite the near-universal coverage that Medicare provides, older U.S adults in the survey incurred substantial out-of-pocket costs,” said The Commonwealth Fund.

To further illustrate this point, the survey found that 21% of seniors spend $2,000 or more a year out-of-pocket on health care, a higher rate than any other country except Switzerland, where 22% spent that much. In the U.K., only 2% spent more than $2,000 or more per year, while virtually no one did in France.


Despite paying more, U.S. adults also were less likely to have timely access to the health care they need compared to the other nations.

Only 57% of older adults in the U.S. reported they could get a same- or next-day doctor’s appointment, compared to 83% in France and New Zealand, and 81% in Germany.

Inaccessibility also led to more emergency room visits for this population, with more than a third (35%) doing so for a condition their primary doctor could have treated had he or she been available.

When it came to coordination of care, people in nearly every country reported experiences with either poorly coordinated care of gaps in communication between providers. 

Countries where older adults experienced the some of the highest rates of care coordination problems were Germany, Norway, and the U.S.—41%, 37% and 35% respectively. Such problems included not having a recommended medical test, receiving conflicting information from different doctors, or having a specialist and primary care doctor not communicating. 

The survey was not entirely all U.S. bashing, as it did spotlight several areas where the nation did better than average, or at least kept pace with the majority of the other countries, especially when it came to management of chronic illness, patient-doctor communication, hospital-to-home transitions and end-of-life planning.

About 58% of chronically ill older adults in the U.S. reported they had discussed their treatment goals with their doctors and had clear instructions about when to seek further care. Fewer than half of chronically ill people in the other nations reported the same, with the exception of the U.K. (59%).

The vast majority of older Americans (86%) also reported that their doctor spent enough time with them.

Furthermore, the U.S. had among the lowest rates of seniors reporting gaps in their discharge-planning when leaving the hospital to return home. Only about 28% of American seniors reported discharge arrangement gaps, such as not having written instructions or not knowing what symptoms to watch out for, or whom to contact with a question when they left the hospital. 

For end-of-life planning, older adults in the U.S. were the most likely to have taken proactive steps to express their care preferences in the event they become unable to make decisions for themselves, with 78% reporting they had discussed this with a family member, friend or health professional.

Additionally, 67% reported having a written plan naming someone to make their health decisions for them, while 55% said they have a written plan describing the treatment they want at the end of life. 

“This new survey shows that there are three areas, such as manning patients who have chronic illnesses and hospital discharge planning, where the U.S. does well compared to other countries,” said Robin Osborn, the study’s lead author and vice president and director for The Commonwealth Fund’s International Program in Health Policy and Practice Innovations. “However, older Americans struggle more to get and afford the health care they need, indicating the need to improve Medicare’s financial protections.”

Although there is still much room for improvement for the U.S., as well as among other nations, it is encouraging to see the U.S. health system doing well for older adults in areas like better managing chronic illness, which have been the focus of concentrated efforts for improvement, said Commonwealth Fund President David Blumenthal, M.D. 

“Monitoring our progress over time and comparing it to other nations will be useful during the ongoing implementation of the Affordable Care Act, as more Americans gain health insurance coverage and further reforms are rolled out to improve how health care is delivered,” Blumenthal said.