New health care plans limit access to top cancer centers

MD Anderson Cancer Center included in less than half of plans in Houston area; Memorial Sloan-Kettering included by two out of nine plans in New York
Associated Press
Mar 19, 2014


Some of America's best cancer hospitals are off-limits to many of the people now signing up for coverage under the nation's new health care program.

Doctors and administrators say they're concerned. So are some state insurance regulators.

An Associated Press survey found examples coast to coast. Seattle Cancer Care Alliance is excluded by five out of eight insurers in Washington's insurance exchange. MD Anderson Cancer Center says it's in less than half of the plans in the Houston area. Memorial Sloan-Kettering is included by two of nine insurers in New York City and has out-of-network agreements with two more.

In all, only four of 19 nationally recognized comprehensive cancer centers that responded to AP's survey said patients have access through all the insurance companies in their states' exchanges.

Not too long ago insurance companies would have been vying to offer access to renowned cancer centers, said Dan Mendelson, CEO of the market research firm Avalere Health. Now the focus is on costs.

"This is a marked deterioration of access to the premier cancer centers for people who are signing up for these plans," Mendelson said.

Those patients may not be able get the most advanced treatment, including clinical trials of new medications.

And there's another problem: it's not easy for consumers shopping online in the new insurance markets to tell if top-level institutions are included in a plan. That takes additional digging by the people applying.

"The challenges of this are going to become evident ... as cancer cases start to arrive," said Norman Hubbard, executive vice president of Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.

Before President Barack Obama's health care law, a cancer diagnosis could make you uninsurable. Now, insurers can't turn away people with health problems or charge them more. Lifetime dollar limits on policies, once a financial trap-door for cancer patients, are also banned.

The new obstacles are more subtle.

To keep premiums low, insurers have designed narrow networks of hospitals and doctors. The government-subsidized private plans on the exchanges typically offer less choice than Medicare or employer plans.

By not including a top cancer center an insurer can cut costs. It may also shield itself from risk, delivering an implicit message to cancer survivors or people with a strong family history of the disease that they should look elsewhere.

For now, the issue seems to be limited to the new insurance exchanges. But it could become a concern for Americans with job-based coverage, too, if employers turn to narrow networks.

The AP surveyed 23 institutions around the country that are part of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. Two additional institutions that joined this week were not included in the survey.

Cancer network members are leading hospitals that combine the latest clinical research and knowledge with a multidisciplinary approach to patient care. They say that patients in their care have better-than-average survival rates. The unique role of cancer centers is recognized under Medicare. Several are exempt from its hospital payment system, instituted to control costs.

AP asked the centers how many insurance companies in their state's exchange included them as a network provider.

Of the 19 that responded, four reported access through all insurers: the Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, Duke Cancer Institute in Durham, N.C., and Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center in Nashville. One caveat: Some insurers did not include these cancer centers on certain low-cost plans.

Two centers had special circumstances. The best known is St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital in Memphis. Treatment there is free as long as children have a referral.

For the remaining 13, the gaps were evident.

In Buffalo, N.Y., Roswell Park Cancer Institute is included by five of seven insurers in its region. But statewide, the picture is much different: Roswell Park is not included by 11 of 16 insurers. Dr. Willie Underwood, associate professor of surgical oncology at the teaching hospital, says that's a problem.

"Overall, when you look at the Affordable Care Act, it improves access to cancer care," said Underwood. "When it comes down to the exchanges, there are some concerns that we have. That is not being critical, that is being intelligent. There are some things we should talk about ... before they start becoming a problem."

Melanie Lapidus, vice president for managed care at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, home to Siteman Cancer Center, said she doesn't think patients realize the exchanges offer a more restrictive kind of private insurance.

Lapidus cited Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, which includes Siteman in many of its plans outside the Missouri exchange, but none within the exchange.

"We have had many people say to us, 'I picked Anthem because you guys are always in their products, and I assumed you would be in their exchange products'," Lapidus said. "It's still hard to tell who is in network and who is not."

In a statement, Anthem said its network was based on research involving thousands of consumers and businesses. "What we learned was that people are willing to make trade-offs in order to have access to affordable health care," the company said. "Our provider networks reflect this."

Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City is included by five of six Utah insurers, but Mark Zenger, who manages the center's negotiations with insurance companies, said he's concerned about getting left out by Humana, a major carrier.

"We are worried about the potential to have these Humana exchange members seek treatment and have no other option," said Zenger.

Humana spokesman Tom Noland said patients can have access to Huntsman for complex procedures, on a case-by-case basis.

Some state insurance regulators see a problem.

"I want insurers to be able to innovate and come up with new product designs," said Mike Kreidler, insurance commissioner for Washington state. "At the same time, there is a requirement for regulators like myself to be vigilant to make sure there aren't unreasonable compromises."

The Obama administration says it has notified insurers that their networks will get closer scrutiny for next year in the 36 states served by the federal exchange. Cancer care will be a priority, it says.



jibber jabber

--> Lets SEE.
1. maybe they charge to much.
2. maybe before ObamaCare there was LESS people that could go there.
3. are they charging MORE than what ObamaCare.
4. are doctors still Greedy over greedly.
5. who says this is the greatest cancer center in the world.


lets call it what it is; a failure. obamacare is a failure..

jibber jabber

ObamaCare is far from failure with 8Million signed up.
the old republican Richard Nekson system was just plain murder.


Re: "old republican Richard Nekson system"

Who the h*ll is "Nekson"?


We were "sold" this monstrosicity in order to cover 25 million uninsured, and then becuase of it millions more were dropped from insurance. So yes, 8 million(media says it's more like 6 million) signups is a huge failure. Everyone pays more for less. That's the gov't way.


One of us wants to use actual facts. I was wrong at the 6 million estimate. It's actualy 5 million.


8 Million? where the hell you get that number? The last numbers released were at around 5 million. But yet they have no idea how many actually paid for it. And also by Obummer extending the indibiduall mandate is an admission of failure.


The government is reporting 5 million sign ups and out of that how many were placed into medicaid paid for by the taxpayers? Also of the 5 million that signed up less the medicaid numbers how many have actually paid a premium and have valid coverage?

J. Carney advised: "We just “don’t have specific data for how many people have paid their premiums". If you do know how many paid you might inform J Carney so that he can inform the press.

I do think from the numbers that I have seen that more persons have lost their insurance than have signed up for Obamacare even if all that signed up were placed into an insurance plan and have paid a premium.

I have also read that of all the Obamacare programs the Cleveland Clinic has only 1 in their network ergo many persons even though very satisfied will not be able to keep their insurance company or doctor.

Darwin's choice

jibber jabber, You're full of chit. there hasn't been 8 million people even read even the sign up pages! Obama has granted so many extensions to date because he likes to? The real number of (strong armed) sign-ups may be half your number. Care to post some proof of your lie?

Darwin's choice

Seems it's just more of the same lie....!

Premiums raising faster because of obamacare...!


jibber jabber

crybaby liar. ah hahahaha

Darwin's choice

And, again, full of chit obama/liar/failure.

Dr. Information

More proof, obamacare is a huge failure and dems want people to die.


You have let the government more into your life.

Now they will decide what hospital, what doctor and what treatment.


The gov't is not the real problem here. Ins. Cos. are. It's all about the money!


Re: "It's all about the money!"

So true.

And when the U.S. FINALLY achieves the TRUE goal of single payer, all medical care will be: FREE, FREE, FREE.

Oh glorious day! Oh Brave New World!


That's not true pooh and you know this. Where is ALL medical care free right now? You pay one way or the other.


Re: "You pay one way or the other."

What do those covered by Medicaid pay?


Re:"The gov't is not the real problem here. Ins. Cos. are. It's all about the money!"

Actually the insurance companies profits are regulated by the government and on 3/14/2014 there was a rule change that now allows the insurance companies to retain an additional 2% profit so if Obama really cared about the average person why is he giving the additional profit to the companies?


How are the profits regulated by the gov.? Where do you get this stuff? The gov't sets the Medicare reimbursement rates and insurance cos. follow. Their choice!


Re: "How are the profits regulated by the gov.?"

You're as ignorant as usual.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Hey now you aren't allowed to bring up the fact that the ACA guarantees profit for private companies by giving them tax money! You are only allowed to discuss the intention of the law, not it's actual effects, flaws, and repercussions. And don't you dare suggest reforming it! Only the President can do that. (sarcasm of course)


@ Mr. Morgan:

Off-topic -

Watch "The Profit" on CNBC. I think you'll enjoy it.


so sad there is a bunch of lazy DUMB F's about this sh@# law


What kind of healthcare ins. do you have and how is it affected by this law?


Re: "What kind of healthcare ins. do you have,"

What do you care? You're on Medicaid.


Let's see...

1. You can keep your doctor.
2. You can keep your insurance.
3. You'll save money on premiums.
4. Access to healthcare will improve.
5. There are no "death panels."
6. It will cost "only" about a trillion dollars over ten years.

Any MORE big lies? And aren't these ENOUGH?

My latest and current least favorite TRUTH? If you sign up for Obamacare, we won't deport your illegal family members. Just. Freaking. AWESOME.

#ObamacareFAIL. #OBAMAfail!


Re: "illegal family members."

"Vote for me and we'll set you free."

Oh, just wait until the progressive-socialists declare that access to health care is a 'right,' like it was in the Soviet Union.

What's wrong with "free"?

A quote from a recent SR article:

“You want it high enough so it doesn’t encourage overuse of the health center. If it’s free, people will just come every day”

- Randy Runyon


American socialists are WAY smarter and can do it better than those 'stoopid' Russian Bolsheviks.


You must be a Sarah Palin fan. What is a death panel? Wasn't that the lie of the year a bit ago? You don't understand the law. Educate yourself and your buddy pooh!


Re: "What is a death panel?"

STILL as ignorant as usual, must be an Obamabot.

Who decides acceptable medical treatments under a single payer govt. run health care system?

Paul Krugman has talked about needing "death panels."


Who decides acceptable medical treatment right now? There is no single payer pooh.

Everyone dies pooh. When it's time it's time. There are no death panels. Stop with the lies. Saying it a billion times won't make it true Palin!


oh and there is DEATH PANELS...Search Results

Mark Halperin's Sudden Claim That Obamacare Death Panels Exist ...‎

Nov 26, 2013 - “The Affordable Care Act contains provisions for “death panels,” which decide which critically ill patients receive care and which don't. It's built ...
The Death Panels Are Coming - The American Prospect‎
The American Prospect
Dec 2, 2013 - ... can focus on in their endless war against the
Affordable Care Act. So get ready for the return of "death panels."

They never really went away.
Articles: Liberal Semantics and the Redefining of Death Panels‎
American Thinker
Nov 30, 2013 - Liberal Semantics and the Redefining of Death Panels. By Jeannie ... stated that cost-control rationing, aka death panels, are built into the ACA.

ObamaCare's cost-cutting board — memorably called a “death panel” by Sarah Palin — is facing growing opposition from Democrats who say it will ... on a proposal to encourage end-of-life planning in the Affordable Care Act.


Re: "There are no death panels."

So why has big lefty Paul Krugman used the term?

As ignorant as ever, 'turd.

Enjoy your Medicaid.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Meanwhile Kevin Trudeau was sent to jail for ten years over his health scam. Huh...


It is sad that this story only validates teatards fear and contempt for the current administration. An individual may end up paying more for health coverage and will not be insured by their current health policy, but then they really shouldn't want to; many low cost and cheap health plans offer at best what amounts to no coverage at all! The ACA and health care in this country are by no means ideal or without flaw, but in the long term, offer considerably better coverage and better health care. People might want to look a year or two in the future and see what it will do or not do, and they will likely see a net positive effect for a majority of those affected. You aren't going to obey the law Sam? Fine by me! Just don't count on the hospital writing off your tab in the event of a catastrophic illness/injury and passing it on to the taxpayer--it's your responsibility to have adequate health insurance and pay your own medical bills. JibberJabber is exactly right also about this center also--let them close down then!


WOW really? Close down the best hospitals in the world? That's the most ignorant statement ever made. I will tell you as a parent of a child that battled brain cancer, Im glad I had a choice of which hospital he was treated at, and you progs want to take that choice away. What I find funny is you libs are pro choice but we cant chose our own healthcare? Hypocritical.


Re: "You aren't going to obey the law...Fine by me!"

Approx. 30% of drivers in large states like TX and CA have no mandated auto ins.

Better be building a lot of debtors' prisons to hold the scafflaws that don't have mandated health ins.


No prisons needed Contango--they'll just be missing a few hundred $'s from their income tax refund.

Also, rbenn-- you must have had (and still should have) great insurance that won't be affected by the ACA if you had an option of where to take your child. So why the problem? Where did you take your child to be treated?-and is it one that is not going to take your insurance? Or, were you eligible for medicaid? Big difference.


Re: "income tax refund."


What percentage of Americans now pay federal income tax?

Any wonder why more and more low-income people are being paid "under the table"?

The major mental fallacy with central planning bureaucrats is that they think that they're smarter than everybody else.

Free markets and free people!


Stop making stuff up just to type something pooh. People are paid under the table to mostly benefit the employer. If the employee does not pay taxes because he is paid under the table, the employer does not either. That part seems okay to you.

You think you are always the smartest guy in the room but you are not.


Re: "People are paid under the table to mostly benefit the employer."

So the worker doesn't like getting tax-free money? You're FOS.


Re: "You think you are always the smartest guy in the room but you are not."


And you obviously think that you're too stupid to make your own socio-economic decisions and need some bureaucrat to make them for you.

You're right. :)


Re: "What percentage of Americans now pay federal income tax?"

Better question would be how many don't pay federal income tax but get a refund anyway?

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Modify it to include illegal immigrants if we are taking a look. Didn't the GAO say a few billion was paid out to non-citizens who may never have paid anything (net) in taxes?


Point taken. Only ways to stop that would be to enforce the border and current laws pertaining to immigration... or have a federal sales tax instead of income tax (much like Bill Gates suggested) or a flat tax where you can just fill out a post card sized tax return and pay a set percentage, no deductions. I would be happy with any of those.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

The sick part was that if I remember correctly a certain party used the closure of that "loophole" paying non-citizens as a compromise issue in budgetary talks. They would support not paying money to those who aren't entitled to it in exchange for some concession from the other party. Meanwhile every American regardless of affiliation loses.

I am all for either option, though favor the sales tax approach. I won't even follow it up with a negative qualifier or "but..." statement. Changing our tax system is imperative and will be more "fair" to the citizens while also collecting untold windfalls of revenue to actually fund the programs we have even if they are wasteful pork and/or pet projects.


I'd opt for the sales tax as defined by the FairTax folks. It would simultaneously eliminate both the individual and the corporate income tax, but would ensure that everybody who buys things pays taxes. Companies would pay taxes (finally!), individuals (including those here illegally) would pay taxes. Those of us who currently pay taxes would see an effective decrease, while the government would see an INCREASE in revenue. What's not to like? Unless you're an IRS thug, I mean...

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

There are those points and the fact that let's say I curmudgeonly didn't want to pay taxes then I could...grow my own food! Build my own birdhouse! Utilize trade/craft skills, learn to garden, and such. Plus, it would increase competition among businesses as after a certain point the extra tax on the price would make the final total substantially different.

It would also mean that D.C. would want/have to foster an environment that opens up a marketplace, focuses on teaching policies and business practices in school, and allows consumers to innovate themselves or support those businesses that already do.

The amount of manpower and paperwork spent on taxes will dramatically decrease, allowing us to actually be more productive as a society. Under the table jobs wouldn't matter nor "drug money", save for where you must offer proof of income through check stubs etc.


Re: "could...grow my own food!"

The Supreme Court has ruled that the State can prevent you.


Cleveland clinic, but what Im getting at it isn't about me, its about others down the road that wont be able to utilize the services of these hospitals. I am fortunate to have good insurance but when the employer mandate hits I may lose that coverage. This law was ill conceived and many will have sub standard care. And when its all said and done 30 million people will still be without coverage. CBO has said that many times


If you lose your coverage from your employer they will recommend you get Obamacare!


I will never purchase obamacare!


I don't care what you do!


Every post you make about obamaScare shows the lie in your statement.


Eventually everyone will lose their employer coverage and be forced into Obamacare. Sad part is Obamacare is WAY over priced and it SUCKS. In no way is it affordable. I have family that just went thru the whole fiasco and it is ridiculous. For low income it is unaffordable and unbelievably horrible coverage.


Typicall liberal. Your argument is trash so you refer to "teatards" and "contempt for the current administration".
Just admit this law is trash and a horrible idea. I don't care who came up with this. Pelosi said pass it to find out what's in it. Well, know we know. Higher premiums, lower access, and higher deductibles. Just about what you expect from gov't interventions.


So who pays for those that do not pay / will not pay...errrrr. US.


Absolutely--kURTje! It's just they don't care for the black boogie man in the WH telling them to be responsible for themselves.


Re: "telling them to be responsible for themselves."

What? It’s not all gonna be FREE???

If people are that stupid, to need some former community organizer to lecture ‘em about responsibility, this country is in serious sh*t.

Put a fork in it – it’s done!


Your words pooh but they are true. People aka some Americans need to be told what to do. On one hand you and yours preach about personal responsibility then cry foul when the President preaches it. What gives?


Re: "some Americans need to be told what to do,"

Would expect an Obambot like yourself to think nothing less.

Pres. Obama isn't "preaching" responsibility but rather dependency.

Remember: Obamacare is a TAX.

You're as ignorant as ever.


It isn't just "some former community organizer" lecturing them about responsibility. It is the President Of the United States. Time that you accept the fact that he is the President.


Re: "he is the President."

Some have observed that that he enjoys the title and position, but not the responsibility that comes with the job.

He is the most inexperienced and incompetent person that ever had the title.


To be the President you have to do more than sucker millions of brainless followers to elect you, You actually have to take responsibility for your actions. This guy does neither so he is a "President" in title only im my book. Sorta like the same way he is a noble peace prize winner, Just a useless title.


Re:" It's just they don't care for the black boogie man in the WH"

I was just wondering if you voted for Strickland or Ken Blackwell for governor of Ohio. If you did not vote for Blackwell then you must be a racist.


Blackwell helped W win Ohio and where is he now? Dude got played!


Quite right deertracker! Ken Blackwell also had a great big "R" beside his name so of course I didn't vote for him.


Re: "a great big 'R'"

So you strictly vote the party and not the man and or woman?

Not too bright.


Re: " Ken Blackwell also had a great big "R" beside his name so of course I didn't vote for him."

I have seen many times in these forms that persons post negative thoughts advising that they do not agree with Obama then we are referred to as a racist. Reminds me of a one way street.


Really? Gee Contango, do you think it's maybe because I believe in the policies of the Democratic Party???? Nah, that couldn't possibly be it.


Ignore pooh meowmix! He is not worth your time!

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

You are allowed to follow one party for your own reasons but please stop implying others who don't are doing so on the basis of race. It's pretty insulting (and doesn't reflect well on your party as you are an outspoken member) to be called a racist for disagreeing with someone or something. For that reason too, calling someone a teatard is also lame and does nothing to convey your point.

The Big Dog's back

So sappy, are you saying that about 30% of Repubs aren't racist toward Obama?


And there are no racist Democrats? lol. Pathetic lil' piddles.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

How can you be racist towards one person? Is Obama his own race? They're either racist per his race, or they dislike him individually as a person and actually don't care about his pigmentation. If I went with one or the other I'd say more Republicans dislike him more as a person (or more specifically as a political leader) than because of his race.

Though I have to wonder from whence you pulled a 30% figure?

The Big Dog's back

White wingnuts.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Would anyone with an affiliation to the Democratic Party like to pipe up here and either claim him and take him back to HQ or at least disavow him as one of your own? Or is he actually speaking the truth and is the purest incarnation of the party's attitudes, ideals, and especially outreach to Independents and/or Republicans?

Anyone? Come on now. Hearts, minds, and wallets are at stake here. I'll hang onto him for a while longer while I do whatever it is white people do to pass the time. Or pending that I guess I'll just continue to run a local business that serves young people, minorities, homo/bisexuals, religious and non-religious people, etc. That works too.

The Big Dog's back

You just answered my previous question.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

I'm glad I have brought peace and tranquility to your life, you're welcome. If I can assist you further please don't hesitate to post!

Now meanwhile, is there anyone at all who will come get him? I even polished him up and brought some zen to his life. Honestly you're getting Big Dog in better condition that I did. All his misconceptions have been reaffirmed and I can provide a document certifying he won't need updates for at least a few months.

He really just lives in his own world most of the time. Not very high maintenance. If he shows sign of worry just ease his mind by telling him Republicans are bad people and he settles down quickly. I feel bad that I can't keep him myself, but he needs a special forever home with someone who better understands his needs than I.


You do realize voting FOR someone because of their race makes you just as racist as those who voted against him right, Hows it feel to be what you despise?


Don't look at ME when you say that kind of thing! Look in the mirror! I wanted a "black boogie man" in the White House 20 years ago. Where were YOU then? I wanted a "black boogie man" in the White House TWO years ago (just not Obama).

Most people don't give a happy rat's a$$ if a politician is black, white, male, female, or anything else. The morons vote based on party; the informed vote based on candidates. The very few idiots who DO vote based largely on race tend to be Democrats who, in their blind hero worship, are far more racist than some of the worst on the right ever thought of being!

The Big Dog's back

sam, is that why Repubs didn't support Blackwell when he ran for Gov?


From the people I spoke to about Blackwell, most thought he was too much of a "party" candidate that thinks "party" first instead of what was best for the people in Ohio. Neither major :party is worth a warm bucket of spit. There is little difference in that each "party over spends and little difference in their poor policies. The little difference is what they over spend on and poor policies blame the "other party" for the overspending and poor policies.... Now piddles will tell us why his "party's over spending and poor policies, is better than the other "party's" overspending and poor policies.

The Big Dog's back

The Repubs I spoke to said they would never vote for a Black man.


I can't help that your life partner is a racist. I simply can't believe you would speak to any other repube.


Re:"So who pays for those that do not pay / will not pay...errrrr. US."

So who pays for all those additional persons now on medicaid and who pays the subsidies that are now given to many persons ?


Unfortunately, the same people who always did: The taxpayer (and those WITH insurance). But if you look at the before and after financial scenarios, it was cheaper under the OLD system than under Obamacare.

I've never said healthcare didn't need reform. It did. My objections are that Obamacare is not only failing to FIX the system's problems, but is making it demonstrably worse. A LOT worse!


"As deadline looms, flurry of Obamacare rule juggling"

"One major change announced by the government will effectively compel insurers selling plans on the Obamacare exchanges for 2015 to increase the minimum number of so-called essential community providers in the plans' networks.

Such providers serve lower-income and other "medically under-served" populations, and include federally qualified health centers, children's hospitals, HIV and STD clinics, and family planning clinics."

IOW: Expand the health care network for the lowest possible cost.

"Lower-income" i.e. Medicaid - free.

There is no economic foundation for these Soviet-style diktats, the Obama admin. is merely making up sh*t as they go along based on political expediency.


it amazes me on alll the EXPERTS on health care insurance to know all the ins and OUTS MAYBE THEY SHOULD GET A JOB SELLING IT AND READING THE LAW INSTEAD OFF BEING TALKING HEADS OF THE commie left


commie left? Please???


Re: "commie left?"

How is he wrong?

Don't you believe in the govt. controlling the means and regulating production?


How is he right?


Re: "How is he right?"

Answer the question:

Don't you believe in the govt. controlling the means and regulating production?

Do you enjoy your Medicaid (socialism)?

The Big Dog's back

What production and the means for production are CONTROLLED by Gov?


Sheesh! Not what I wrote. Read it AGAIN, piddles.


And who and how are your roads being paid for Contango? you want corporations to do everything for you? You know...the guys running the country with their lobbyists.


Re: "roads,"

Early American road, canal and water way building were privately financed and maintained.

Today, roadways are a Gordian Knot of collectivism.


Re: "the guys running the country with their lobbyists."

Too ideologically simplistic.

Taxpayer subsidized not for profits (AARP, et. al) have their lobbyists too.

Better take a look at whom gives what to whom:


Re:" And who and how are your roads being paid for"

I think the roads are paid for by the people of this country. The government will give us anything we want using our money.


Who stopped oldsters from going to Canada to obtain lower cost maintenance medicine? (Mean while waves of Canadians are coming to America for health care.

Dr. Information

The truth about who dems area is starting to really show up. They still want to stand behind this polished turd and watch people denied treatment or have to go all over the world for treatment, just so they can try and save party face. Sad


oBUMacare is an even bigger joke than the "work" done by Barry over the last 6 years. Less than 700 days until he's out of office...let the countdown begin. WORST President EVER!!!!


If you die before you can collect all your Social Security, where does the rest go . . . . the government.

If you die before you can get treatment, who prospers . . . . the insurance company.

If you get "bargain basement" medical care and you die, then the government and the insurance company benefit.

You all just need to fully understand that the maggots who run this country only care about the 1% of the people that keep them in power. The same 1% that keep feeding us all candidates that change nothing, do nothing and care about nothing but themselves.


Re: "If you die before you can get treatment, who prospers . . . . the insurance company."


And if the insured lives, the ins. co. collects future premiums and makes more money.

The 1% (nomenklatura) generally live in Washington.

Who lives in Washington: Bureaucrats, politicians and lobbyists - The Iron Triangle.


Hilltop you are right. Give US the same health Nancy Reagan & Nancy Pelosi get...that is fair.


Re: "Give US the same health Nancy Reagan & Nancy Pelosi get,"


Who's paying for it?


That is exactly my point. Those old krones get health from the taxpayers. They should get the same as US.


Re: "They should get the same as US."

Re: "Give US the same health (sic) Nancy Reagan & Nancy Pelosi get,"

No "point." Conflicting statements.

Which is it?


Not to worry, in another year or two the premiums will be so astronomically high, no one will be able to afford any kind of health care.

We're pretty much all Effed.


Insurance companies have sold most of the public and government officials blaming doctors.

Isurance companies like to blame doctors, hospitals, pharmacies and lawyers for the high cost of healthcare. Do yourself a favor, drive the outerbelt around Columbus, Ohio on the west side of town. You will see a large number of insurance corporate headquarters. They are large, modern buildings with acres of manicured estates, ponds with fountains and some have either cottages or golf courses.

Insurance agents get paid monthly based on the amount the accounts, recieve bonuses, special weekend vacations, etc. The higher the rise in the company, the more they make. Remember, these are NOT doctors, but salesmen.

Some may point to doctors charges as being too high. The next time you visit a specialist, ask him or her how many years they spent in college, working as interns, residents and more time in their specialty. Then ask them how old they were before they began making a living and how long they will practice before retiring.

One last thing, ask them what pertcentage of the practice's income goes for medical insurance.


Re: "medical insurance"

You forgot the lawyers.

If a doc isn't being sued, he's not practicing.


Re: "Insurance agents get paid monthly based on the amount the accounts, recieve bonuses, special weekend vacations, etc. The higher the rise in the company, the more they make. Remember, these are NOT doctors, but salesmen."

I do think that insurance companies cannot just charge what ever they wish to charge I think they must file any request for premium increases with the state department of insurance. If the premium increase is justified they will most likely be granted approval however if the premium increase would indicate an excessive profit the increase would be denied.

Maybe what you should do is direct your complaint to the Ohio Department of Insurance.


And now just think... the administration of obama, and the democrat "party" has made it a law that everyone has to buy insurance, from insurance companies... and also the gov't guarantees insurance companies to make a profit. ObamaScare, and the democrats are the best thing that has ever happened for healthcare insurance companies... guaranteed profit... guaranteed customers. You will now be fined if you don't buy health insurance from insurance companies and the gov't guarantees insurance companies profit... no matter what. That sure showed insurance companies.


Pres. Obama 'quietly' killed the individual mandate.

Can't afford the high Obamacare premium? No penalty!

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Oh yeah, this has been murmured about yet oddly never seemingly headlined. You think it would, especially on a cheerleader such as the Huffington Post. Yet oddly enough I never saw oversized, colored font that read "By the Grace of President, Pen Exempts Individuals from Mandatory Coverage" with the subheading "just provide some kind of documentation or something...if you can".

This truly is a centerpiece law. One that reaches out to everyone yet ultimately touches nobody. It's a bragging point alone. A gruesome trophy for those who passed it. Ultimately? Wasteful and destructive. The tragedy is that it is all meaningless.

"The different cardinal truths neither clash nor mesh. No one is invalidated, but nobody is right."


Re: "just provide some kind of documentation or something...if you can".

Some analysts have equated it to the income statements for the "liar loans" which led to the subprime housing crisis.

Yea, I couldn't afford it - trust me.

Wait until the underfunded insurers tap the $20B taxpayer slush fund in response to the poor number and quality of the sign-ups.

Should make for some interesting headlines and conversation.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

They'll be interesting because it will be "their fault" if it happens. The faultless government whose intentions are (as one of my favorite lines from The Shawshank Redemption) cleaner than a virgin's honeypot and never meant for any of this to happen will happily vilify then swoop in to simultaneously condemn and save them through some kind of next-step nationalization. It's ridiculous and makes me angry that I am getting angry, which in turn makes me appreciate the fact I have hobbies as outlets for that frustration.

Is the slush fund you talk about the one that was tapped into early on as an "experiment" to keep cuts to other programs from being felt until after the last election? I remember something about that. Meanwhile our schools don't have any kind of mandatory education about economics so stories like this will persist among those who can't/won't see the "man behind the curtain".


Re: "experiment,"

Don't have an answer; however:

Economics is SO boring! Better to just 'trust' those in the know. :)

H*ll, according to the Fed's own minutes, even with the best economic models and tools in the world, they were clueless as to the extent of the damage at the end of '08.


I am self-employed. I have worked physically and mentally hard for all I have and own. I am a registered Independent voter. I self-pay for my insurance. The Affordable Care Act now saves me 35% on my premiums, lowered my deductible by 50%, I have much better coverage grand total out of pocket expenses for any period have been dramatically lowered as well. {AFFORDABLE Care Act.} Try it. You might like it.


Any single example of it helping someone is offset by an example of someone with the opposite experience. You won the obamaScare lottery, not everyone has. Congratulations.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Said neutrally:

I appreciate your anecdote has worked for you. I don't doubt that there are people like you that exist, a point even Grumpy illustrated. I could then presume that with the pride you post about your policy that you are not receiving subsidies for your coverage?

If you can, generically if you don't want to give away identifying info, can you please post your "Before" and "After" policies? That will do much to better and further convey your point. If you can overcome the naysayers/skeptics, with me being one of them, then you will find yourself surrounded by allies.


Re: "The Affordable Care Act now saves me 35% on my premiums,"

Due to your age and the insurers' expectation and projections that the young Invicibles would actuarially help offset your heavily subsidized premium.

Why do you think Pres. Obama is out there selling the youth on signing up like some kind of late night product hawker?

Way too early to tell on whether your premiums and coverage will be remain stable.

At present, the pool is too small and consists heavily of older insureds and those with pre-ex.

I've heard rumblings (CNBC) that some insurers expect to raise premiums by 50% or more for 2015.


I think anyone saving 35% with a 50% lower deductible must be in a lower income bracket that is being subsidized by someone in a higher income bracket. I do know of several persons advising that they have had sizable increases in premiums and deductibles.


Re: "I am a registered Independent voter."

Do you mean an unaffiliated voter?

So you don't vote in primaries?


How health insurance used to work for individuals, not for group[s such as company health plans, self employed trade groups, or such like, was the younger healthier paid less than older sicker, or those with pre-existing conditions. Thus those who won the obamaScare lottery would more likely be older, sicker histories, or those with pre-existing conditions. Those who lost would more likely be younger healthier, gender matters also. Problem for obamaScare is that the younger folks are more likely to chance it with no insurance than older folks, that hurts the overall chance of keeping the premiums low for everyone.

Much like auto insurance the younger, worse driving records pay more than those between 26 and 65 or those with good driving records, gender matters also

Or like life insurance the younger healthier get cheaper rates than the older or sicker people, gender matters also.

It is math, Which groups will cost more to keep alive, which will cost more to be healthy, which will cause more car accidents? Those used to be the ones with the cheaper insurance, now the gov't decides the amount each person will pay and what the coverage is, at least under obamaScare. Math and statistics don't matter, at least till the bill for services rendered becomes due. Then we will discover that math still rules. Gov't can't over ride math. Example, look at the National Debt.


IMO, making provisions for high deductible health plans (HDHP) and a health savings account (HSA) is a debate worth having.

I've had both for several yrs.

Dr. Ben Carson is the latest high profile proponent of the HDHP & HSA combo approach.


Talk about a mixed message: