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Cakelady

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 #1 
Is anyone nervous that all of a sudden Obamacare will be gone soon?
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Baker1

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 #2 
Yes. They better have another plan in place before they just axe Obamacare.
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Diane M
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taffylinden

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 #3 
As I understand it, the GOP is divided on repeal or repeal-and-replace. The President-elect has said he wants repeal and replacement to happen together, but whether he'd veto a plan that repeals without replacement remains to be seen. The political appeal of repeal without replacement seems to be that it would quickly do what the GOP and many voters have been itching to do for the past 7 years: repeal a plan they despise, despite the fact the GOP helped sculpt the plan. The original proposal from Obama was much more of a single-payer system akin to what Canada has. The current plan is really a series of messy compromises (Remember when Congress did those?) between the GOP and the Democrats. The result was a plan that was quite contentious, and that almost nobody completely embraced.

The replacement issue is a very serious one, however. Repeal without replacement would leave over 18 million Americans without health insurance, which would cause all kinds of problems, and not only for those affected. I don't know how many of you recall the days before Obamacare was passed. The GOP had a plan, too. Whether or not it would have adequately addressed the issue, the fact is, both parties recognized that without some health care plan in place, the nation was in crisis. The government was hemorrhaging money on health care at the time, saddling us with a deepening deficit and inevitably, at some point, higher taxes to pay for all of it. The average American family was one health crisis away from bankruptcy. The idea that a year without would allow Americans to feel the pain or decide what we want could be politically disastrous. Hence the repeal-and-replace stance.

Until I retired, I was a do-or-die employee. Unless I had to travel for medical stuff or was stuck in Salt Lake while docs tried to regain my vision, I was at work. If I was sick, I went. If I was flaring, I went. This fall, though, I would've been unable to work. The ACA, which I found extremely frustrating and NOT user-friendly, saved me. I could not have taken that much time off from a new job and would have certainly lost one and its health insurance. So obviously, I am hoping for replacement, and replacement that is not merely lip-service, but one covers as many Americans who gained insurance through the ACA. I also hope it would hold down medical costs for all Americans.

Regardless of what Congress decides, most of those with insurance through the ACA will not be affected until the end of this year, as insurance companies are bound to honor the policies that are already in place. That gives us almost a year. Whatever Congress decides, the American people will have plenty of time to react and to pressure Congress, our employees, to do better.
Baker1

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 #4 
The last thing that I had heard was that Donald Trump wasn't going to strip the whole Obamacare program,but make changes where needed. However, that may have changed depending on the group of people he was talking to.
I do agree changes need made, but they need to be careful on what they do first and how affects those of us who need it.

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Diane M
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taffylinden

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 #5 
100% agree, Baker1. I wouldn't mind if it were simplified--all those compromises made it more complex than need be. I remember Donald Trump saying he'd basically tweak Obamacare, but he recently said he wants Congress to replace it. Maybe the replacement will look something like Obamacare, but I don't see how. I only caught part of Paul Ryan's town hall meeting last night, but he was pretty emphatic that he was pushing for repeal and replace. 

I'll put a link to Paul Ryan's plan, the Patients' Choice Act. I think the replacement plan might resemble Ryan's plan.. As far as I can tell--and somebody please correct me if I'm wrong--there will no longer by subsidized insurance premiums; instead, Ryan proposes a tax credit of $2300 per individual and $5700 per family for health care coverage. (He claims this won't cause a tax increase.) The money could be advanced for those who need it. There's a lot more to plan than that, but it's an easy read.

I'm not championing Ryan's plan, by the way. I just think all of us with AI's  need to be aware of what's out there re: health care plans and to share what information we get.

Here's the link to the Patients' Choice Act summarized in plain English: http://paulryan.house.gov/uploadedfiles/pcasummary2p.pdf



Baker1

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 #6 
That plan sounds like those of us that need the plan are going to get screwed. By the time you see all of your doctors and get all of your meds $2300 or $5700 tax credit isn't going to help anything.
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Diane M
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taffylinden

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 #7 
As I understand it, the tax credit is supposed to go toward insurance premiums. For me, that's about four months' worth, or about 1/3 of the annual cost of premiums. Currently, I pay about half the cost of my premiums, just as I did when I was employed. I could get cheaper insurance, but my docs didn't accept them, and the plans would mean a fight every time I need eye surgery. So yes, I'm concerned, and I'm going to contact my representatives in Congress, but I'm hoping that if the GOP just slows down a little and considers consequences thoroughly, the end result may be something all of us can live with--literally.

Baker1

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 #8 
That was a problem I had one year. Only my rheumy took my insurance that year so everytime I saw my pcp or neurologist I paid out of pocket. That year I went to the ER which was paid for, but I was admitted to to the hospital overnight which was not covered. The only thing that would have saved me from paying everything out of pocket was to find all new doctors in a different hospital system that has a very bad reputation. I went there once for a sprained ankle and a foot fracture and my records there now show that I have congestive heart failure. I have nothing wrong with my heart.
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Diane M
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Robinj

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 #9 
I'll just say this about Obamacare. It was not well thought out and unfortunately bound to fail. Too many folks were given coverage, just to have it pulled out from under them when the insurance companies saw the losses.  Don't expect our president elect to fix this in a year, but I do believe it will be improved. 
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Baker1

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 #10 
Obamacare also started with about 30 insurance companies participating in the program. Now there are less than 10, which makes it harder to find a one that covers all of your doctors. This year at least my pcp and rheumy are covered and I only see my neurologist usually only once a year unless my migraines get out of hand.
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Diane M
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Robinj

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 #11 
That's what I am saying Diane. No consistency because the insurance companies are losing $$$
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taffylinden

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 #12 
 Congress seems to have focused on partisan politics far more than on sculpting the original proposal of either the GOP or the Obama administration into a workable plan. Neither party wanted the other to get credit for coming up with a plan that worked. 

Health insurance companies have complained that they're losing money under the ACA. United Health Care withdrew from the marketplace last year due to heavy losses. But the health insurance industry has not exactly been a model of ethical behavior. According to Forbes, while the powerful health insurance lobby was cutting a deal with the White House to support the passage of the ACA back in 2009, it was funneling over $100,000,000 into advertising to convince us voters the ACA should be defeated. Why would they do that when the ACA promised to drive millions of new customers their way? They didn't like the provision that required them to spend at least 80% of what we pay in premiums toward health care. Yet aside from UHC, most insurers are doing pretty well on the marketplace after a bumpy first few years.

And there's another reason insurers are complaining so bitterly. According to Larry Levitt, the CEO of the Kaiser Family Foundation,  "You can bet those insurers will be at the table and will have as much leverage as possible. Creating an environment where people are worried about insurers losing money and whether they'll participate in the marketplaces or not increases their leverage." (Widely quoted. I found it in the LA TImes.)

As for United Health Care, they shot themselves in the foot and, worried about tanking on Wall Street, blamed the ACA. How'd they screw up? Well, first, they sat out the first year, while other insurers were forging ahead in the marketplaces. Then, they overpriced their policies so they weren't competitive. UHC justified that by the wide system of services offered, but that wide system is what drew sicker people to their policies, resulting in more payouts. To be profitable, an insurer must have a pool of insurers that includes a lot of healthy people. 

A few years ago, I contacted  Wyoming's three members of Congress and pointed out that history shows the best hope in repealing something is to have an alternative in place. (They're all Republican.) Two never answered, but  Senator Mike Enzi said the GOP didn't have one. He, at least, gave me some of his own suggestions.  I sure wish the GOP had started working on a possible replacement a long time ago. We don't know what President-Elect Trump's proposed plan will look like, but like Obama's plan, it's just a proposal: Congress will have the ultimate responsibility for crafting the new plan. It had better be good--very, very good. Stats show it'll infuriate many Americans, as the ACA did--both examples of the high cost of inflammatory partisan politics. 
Smith&Lesson

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 #13 
Not wanting to get into the politics of ACA, but just letting you know it saved my life.  I am anxious about the future of it and its replacement, particularly in regards to preexisting conditions and the possibility of lifetime caps being reinstated.  I had to switch insurance this year since United Healthcare was no longer available on the marketplace (like Taffy said), and only one option remained that covered some of my docs. this Aetna plan is definitely not as good, but it's better than nothing.  It has been a stressful start to the new year with the insurance change, and all that that entails with pre-authorizations, specialty meds, referrals, finding new specialists that accept the plan, etc. It is going to be one expensive year though!  Praying for us all <3

Cakelady

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 #14 
You should give your UVA1 another try it could save you lots of money
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Robinj

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 #15 
Obamacare had no true interest in helping anyone other than the insurance companies and pharma. It backfired and it backfired big time. Folks were left scrambling after the first year to change after companies dropped out or reduced coverage.  Wonder where all those "penalties" went on folks that did not obtain insurance.....

smh

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