Stanley Feld M.D.FACP, MACE
I used to read every word of the New York Times. After all it was “all the news fit to print.”
It took me a long time to figure out it was the same sensational journalism as the New York Daily News and the New York Post. Its sensationalism is subtler.
Both the News and the Post had better Sports sections than the Times. All three newspapers are biased. They all leave out important facts.
The New York Times leaves out important facts and does not connect related facts. The result is intelligent people reading and believing the New York Times can have one world view, while another group of intelligent people reading and connecting the facts can have an opposite world view.
The following headline appeared on the front page of the Sunday Times on Easter Sunday.
On its surface the headline infers that Obamacare is working and citizens like it.
The Times claim is, “Among the most embattled Senate Republican incumbents, the campaign websites of Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Mark Kirk of Illinois and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin barely mention the health care law.
The article goes on to quotes Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell.
“To be sure, the presidential election outcome will be a determinant of whether the health care law is reshaped, bolstered or downsized.”
Is reporting this Obama administration bias? To me it certainly is. This conclusion is total nonsense. It is an attempt by the New York Times to help the Obama administration spin the truth and save President Obama's legacy
Paul Krugman’s New York Times articles have been telling reders how successful Obamacare has been. The problem with his commentary is it does not fit the facts.
Meanwhile President Obama and the administration have been modifying the law almost monthly without the consent of congress.
It has also been spending money without congressional approval because the law has not worked out well for President Obama and his administration.
Obamacare has been a failure for all the stakeholders. It has had a negative impact on the economy and the delivery of medical care.
It cannot be fixed with a few modifications.
I hope the New York Times is just printing the Obama administration’s press releases. However, the Times editorials reflect the lies.
Anyone running for congress who believes the New York Times propaganda about the success of Obamacare should not be elected.
Many patients credit the President with giving them access to coverage even if they have a pre-existing condition and are not in a group plan. Meanwhile, the cost of the insurance has changed with higher premiums and deductibles, and the cost of coverage is increasing annually for both Obamacare and private insurance.
Remember President Obama’s promise, “If you like your insurance you can keep your insurance, if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor.”
The cost of HealthCare.gov has been a debacle. It had been riddled with scandals, inefficiency, cronyism, and disrespect for consumers’ intelligence. I thought the original $800 million dollar cost estimate was ridiculously high. Its present estimate is $2.1 billion dollars. the web site healthcare.gov is still not right.
How much did CMS really spent on Obamacare? No one really knows. It has not been cheap. Most of the expenditures have not been approved by congress.
For the last three years the Obama administration has lied about the enrollment numbers. At the same time they have bragged about the enrollment success. In 2014 the grand total enrollment in private insurance through the Obamacare exchange was 260,000 while 14 million privately insured lost coverage.
However the total number of consumers enrolled through Medicaid was 8.99 million. This occurred with only 23 states participating in the expansion of Medicaid
The enrollment figures had not improved at the end of 2015 even though the Obama administration extended the enrollment period constantly throughout the year.
“Earlier this month (2016), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced that nearly 8.8 million Americans had “effectuated” coverage at the end of 2015, meaning they were paying their health insurance premiums.”
This is a perfect example of spinning the news. At the of the 2015 enrollment period before the enrollment extensions 11.69 million members signed up and paid. At the end of 2015 only 8.78 million people continued to pay their premiums.
This represents less than the Obama administration claimed enrollment of 2014.
The New York Times is publishing fiction because of it’s bias toward President Obama and Obamacare. The truth about Obamacare’s lack of success is public record. Unfortunately the New York Times ignores the truth.
Obamacare enrollment decreased even further this year (2016). The insurance premiums and deductibles are too high for people making over 50,000 dollars a year. Only the fully subsidized people can afford to stay in Obamacare.
The Obama administration provided 2.5 billion dollars in loans to these State Co-Ops. So far the federal government has lost 1.2 billion dollars of it 2.5 billion loaned to the state Co-Ops.
The Affordable Care Act allowed for the creation of consumer-operated and oriented plans, or co-ops, that were intended to inject competition into areas where consumers had few choices.
At present 8 more Co-Ops are on the verge and will probably close for enrollment for 2017.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have little hope or collecting the money lent to the State Co-Ops. Information surrounding the liability of the failed state Co-Ops for the loans has not been transparent.
A total of $2.4 billion in loans was awarded to 23 Co Ops start-up and solvency loans to the 23 co-ops.
Now, 12 of the 23 co-ops that opened their doors in 2013 have closed and have left 900,000 consumers without insurance. No one can tell if these people were assimilated into the federal health exchanges. Republicans in Congress are questioning whether the taxpayers will ever get repaid $1.2 billion loaned to those failed Co-Op insurers.
Obamacare has made insurance available to millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions were denied coverage. This is true. However both the premiums and the $6000 deductibles are unaffordable.
A diabetic wrote to me, “Obamacare is great! Now I can buy insurance. My premium cost $12,000 a year. My deductible is $6,000 for a total of $18,000 a year. My medical bills were $100,000 last year.
I asked what was her HbA1c. She said it was 9.2% (normal 4.5% -5.5%).
The high HbA1c means she is a poorly controlled diabetic.
Shouldn’t this patient be responsible to lower the HA1c to 6% in order to reduce her diabetes complication rate?
Not everyone can afford $18,000 per year. Most of the diabetic patients who cannot afford the high insurance rates in the federal health exchanges have even higher HbA1c levels. They will ultimately cost the payer of last resort, the government, even more after the patient is bankrupt.
A better system needs to be developed to incentivized these people to be responsible for their own diabetes control.
Another feature of Obamacare that is publicized as one of the great successes is that children can stay on their parents’ plans until age 26.
The unintended consequence of this feature has given the healthcare insurance industry and excuse to raise insurance premiums by double digits increase each year.
President Obama has bragged, and the New York Times has applauded him for it, that health care inflation has been lowered since Obamacare was passed into law. He say that Obamacare has bent the healthcare cost curve.
This is false. Obamacare was collecting Obamacare imposed tax increases on every income bracket for three years prior to implementation of the healthcare coverage.
The cost curve was bent because there were no expenditures in the delivery of healthcare. In 2015 the healthcare cost curve is rising.
These new taxes contradict President Obama’s promise that “anyone making under $250,000 a year will not pay a dime in new taxes.” Many of these taxes on businesses are being passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices.
Insurance companies are leaving the federal health exchanges in droves because they are not making as much money as promised by the Obama administration. Obamacare will disappear without insurance company participation.
The New York Times presents deceiving information about Obamacare. I cannot understand why readers believe these lies.
The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone.
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