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Letters: Obamacare a trainwreck

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  • collegestudent25 Cedar City, UT
    May 16, 2013 7:39 a.m.

    I just lost my basic health insurance because premiums rose by 35% the last two years, for my employer. We now have a high deductible plan. Don't try to lie to me about costs not rising.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    May 15, 2013 9:43 p.m.

    Re:patriot

    A recent survey from the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis found that 4 percent of companies it surveyed had moved to a larger, part-time workforce in response to the Affordable Care Act.

    If part-time workers offer an easy way to dodge an expensive mandate, why haven’t more employers jumped on board? I asked Christopher Ryan, a vice president of strategic services at ADP, to help explain. He spends a lot of time talking to companies about this issue and says it mostly boils down to a trade-off between having a skilled workforce and reducing benefit costs.
    “If you’re operating a large restaurant in Manhattan on Valentine’s Day, you’re probably wanting to have a highly-trained, highly-skilled wait staff,” he says. “And it’s a question of, do you want your restaurant manager thinking about benefit costs, and who needs to be sent home at 8 p.m. [so they don't go over their 30-hour week], or do you want to think about providing consumers with a great experience?”
    (Washington Post, Sarah Kliff)

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    May 15, 2013 7:07 p.m.

    To JoeBlow and other liberals let me explain something you don't seem to understand about Obamacare. With Obamacare starting July 1, all employees who work 40 hours or more MUST be offered insurance by their company. MUST!!! I gave the example of my own school district. All aid's in the school district MUST be offered insurance even though they might already have insurance via their spouse. They might not elect to take the insurance but they still MUST be offered the insurance which means the school district must BUDGET for the insurance now which means they must get more money from their state legislatures at the beginning of the fiscal year. UNDERSTAND?? So that is why principals are being FORCED to cut their aid's hours to 27 maximum so they don't have to classify them as full time employees and then offer and budget insurance for them. Actually EVERY company works the same exact way - an employee actually costs them wages+benefits even though the employee may elect NOT to sign up for the insurance benefit. Principals are ANGRY ...believe me. Again - kids and teachers are hurt but socialism moves on so who cares ... right? Get it Joe??

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    May 15, 2013 5:43 p.m.

    re:Noodlekaboodle

    Not true. Obviously you don't understand Obamacare. The Federal Government could care less whether your spouse has insurance or not - the bottom line is ALL 40 hour work week employees of Alpine School District MUST be provided INSURANCE by Alpine School District. I have discussed this with my neighbors who are effected as well as a principal of a grade school (Cedar Ridge Elementary) and a vice principal of a junior high (Mountain Ridge JrH). Both administrators make it clear that they HAVE NO CHOICE in the matter. Again - it doesn't matter what other insurance you have - what matters is if you work full time for a company (over 50 employees) then that company MUST provide insurance for you whether you want it or not. Alpine School District can't afford to offer insurance to it's 40 hour work week aids and thus each principal is speaking with each aid explaining the cut-back to 27 hours that MUST take place.

    One of the worst things about Obamacare is the complete ignorance of the general public regarding the rules and penalties. Those rules and penalties are starting in mass July 1 2013.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    May 15, 2013 3:17 p.m.

    RE: Pragmatistferlife "Posting on this thread usually serves two purposes for individuals who aren't lock step Republicans or members of the LDS church. First it serves as an exercise to prevent conservatives carte blanche expression of their ideas and policies. Secondly it provides a forum for the development of ones own thoughts and ideas." I've often wondered if commenting here against the LDS/Republican Utah supermajority serves any purpose. Frankly, I'm not sure it's worth the effort.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    May 15, 2013 2:49 p.m.

    Redshirt1701 "If they choose to not have insurance why does your ilk think that it is their duty to prevent them from experiencing the consequences of their choices?" Because of they don't insure risk will not be spread enough. I favored medicare for all and still do. ACA is a poor substitute.

  • Grover Salt Lake City, UT
    May 15, 2013 1:33 p.m.

    Karl and the Chairman of Aetna both make their living (and a nice one it is) from the status quo. Is it any surprise that they would be against change of any kind especially one which potentially cut their pay? Nice try, but I think we will wait until next year to see what Obamacare really looks and feels like, before we decide whether it is better than what we live with now or a mistake that needs to be changed.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    May 15, 2013 10:39 a.m.

    To "marxist" the funny thing is that at best the ACA will cover around 30 million that are without insurance, at a cost that is nearly double what private companies were charging before the ACA was passed.

    You also forget that most of those that were uninsured were that way by choice either because they didn't want to buy insurance or else didn't want to sign up for existing government programs.

    Why does your ilk think that it knows best how to run people's lives? If they choose to not have insurance why does your ilk think that it is their duty to prevent them from experiencing the consequences of their choices?

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    May 15, 2013 9:30 a.m.

    The fifty million Americans without health coverage under the current system are each and everyone a "train wreck."

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    May 15, 2013 7:40 a.m.

    To "Ernest T. Bass" just because you keep repeating the lies does not make them truth.

    The truth of the matter is that every year Congress or state legislatures add additional mandates to insurance companies. Those mandates are not free. The government in their attempt to control business pushes up the cost of insurance. That is a fact, and if you look at the 800 mandates the insurance companies had in the 1980's and compare that to the 2400+ mandates they have now, you can see that the rise in insurance premiums is a direct result of government policies.

    Since the problem with costs is directly related to the government, why would you want more government adding even more costs?

    If the point of the ACA was to make insurance cheaper, then by your own admission, it is a failure. Why would you continue to support and want to push forward a program that is a failure before it is fully implemented?

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    May 14, 2013 10:22 p.m.

    "...I applaud any effort by the GOP to derail/defund this inivetable "trainwreck." There are other comparatively low-cost solutions to our health care dilemma...".

    Inivetable?

    In retrospect...

    Republicans owned the White House, Senate and House from 2001 until 2006.

    During that time, Republicans passed the comparatively low-cost solutions of which Health Agent speaks so proudly to solve our health care dilemma...

    OOPS!

  • Onion Daze Payson, UT
    May 14, 2013 8:21 p.m.

    Prag.

    Did you mean 300 million and not "A society a wash with 30,000,000 guns."

  • wrz Pheonix, AZ
    May 14, 2013 8:15 p.m.

    @Star Bright:
    "I don't believe in unicorns..."

    I don't believe in Obama. He lies and lies. He needs to be impeached.

    @The Real Maverick:
    Actually, premium rates have increased at a lower rate since Obamacare was passed."

    Actually, Obamacare hasn't fully kicked in yet. Wait'll it gets in full swing in 2014.

    "I hate for that lil fact to get in the way of your rant."

    Ditto.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    May 14, 2013 7:16 p.m.

    Posting on this thread usually serves two purposes for individuals who aren't lock step Republicans or members of the LDS church. First it serves as an exercise to prevent conservatives carte blanche expression of their ideas and policies. Secondly it provides a forum for the development of ones own thoughts and ideas. Occasionally however, it serves as a reminder that there is a segment of America that is absolutely comfortable with health care costs that have risen 2,500% in the last thirty years all the while excluding 40,000,000 Americans from participatory health care coverage. There are Americans willing to not just accept but defend an economic system that has seen absolute middle class stagnation for the past thirty years with the upper 1% experiencing gigantic wealth growth. There are Americans who have convinced themselves that their very freedom resides in the principle of being able to own a gun in the most violent society in the civilized world. A society a wash with 30,000,000 guns. Yes posting here serves as a reminder that you will never change these minds but civilization depends on there being an opposition to these causes.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    May 14, 2013 6:16 p.m.

    Redshirt:
    Premiums have gone up every year. Each and every year, Obamacare or not. Let's not pretend Romneycare has anything to do with it any more than corporate greed from health insurance companies has to do with increased premiums.

  • Mad Hatter Provo, UT
    May 14, 2013 6:14 p.m.

    So what's a "health agent"? Is it a healthcare provider? A doctor? A nurse? A healthcare economist? Perhaps someone who works in the health insurance industry? It seems that the letter writer needs to qualify his perspective on this issue so that the reader can better understand the letter writer's position.

    Apparently the letter writer is solidly against the Affordable Care Act. OK. But giving one's bona fides as "health agent" makes the reader suspect that the letter writer's position is more political self-interest and not that of neutral party involved in providing healthcare directly to users.

    It is very understandable that those involved in the health insurance business don't like having their business model (i.e. profit margins) imposed upon. And political conservatives are against anything 'Obama'. So finding a reasonable middle on this issue is impossible when these two interests are involved in the discussion.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    May 14, 2013 4:44 p.m.

    Maverick, atl134,
    BO PROMISED that under his plan health care costs would DECLINE, not that the rate of increase would slow. BO LIED.

    And BO’s horrible economy was more the cause of the decline in the increase than Obamacare.

    But then, we know since Maverick thinks 49% is a majority, that he has a real problem with math.

    JoeBlow,
    And what does Obamacare DO about insurance company profits? INCREASE them!

    Ernest,
    Repubs learned from their mistake – DEMS refuse to admit they make mistakes, so they never learn.

  • high school fan Huntington, UT
    May 14, 2013 2:52 p.m.

    We are all missing the reason this act was passed in the first place, cheaper rates, better service, better health care for all. It appears so far that the answer to that is no, no and no.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    May 14, 2013 2:41 p.m.

    Are revenues raised by Obamacare going to be put in a "lock box" so that those revenues can only be used for health care, or, like Social Security, are those revenues going to be mixed with the general fund so that all that is in the "lock box" is a bunch of I.O.U.s?

    Those who want a nanny government should think seriously of moving to Cuba or Russia or Venezuela. There, you can live like the rest of the peasants. There you can complain with the rest of the peasants about the lack of food, the lack of clothing, the lack of housing. There you can work for nothing. There you will know that the government "loves" you and that the government has your health and welfare uppermost in mind.

    If you're a real American, you will demand that government limit itself to the enumerated duties that it was given. Those duties do not include taxing us for health care. If you're a real American, you'll grow a spine and take care of yourself and of your family without crying to the god in Washington for help.

  • casual observer Salt Lake City, UT
    May 14, 2013 1:45 p.m.

    The concept of universal, affordable health care is not a train wreck. However, the ACA is neither universal or affordable. It is highly political, poorly drafted, unwritten in parts and does not have realistic financing. Originally passed with his congressional super majority, he now wants bipartisan support to help shoulder the blame for flaws in the legislation. Mr. Obama rightly deserves credit for advancing this important issue, but he receives a failing grade on collaboration and implementation. He is learning that things are done differently in Washington than in Chicago.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    May 14, 2013 1:11 p.m.

    "My neighbor is a 40 hour per week janitor at the local grade school and he has insurance via his wife so he doesn't need or want a second insurance but Barack says you MUST have insurance."

    Your neighbor is covered. Of course he will not be required twice. Kind of takes the wind out of your rant.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    May 14, 2013 1:07 p.m.

    To "atl134" Obamacare is already in effect. We already have some clauses like the slacker mandate being applied to policies. Go to Obamacarefacts and read up on the provisions that are already in effect.

    To "Ernest T. Bass" actually nothing would have been better than Obamacare. Premiums may have increased, but the increase would have been less than what we are seeing and will see.

    To "Hutterite" Obamacare gives us just that. Granted it is not a true single payer system, but it is a fascist system where the government controls the corporations down to the allowable profit margins.

    To those of you who don't think that Obamacare will change the cost of insurance, read the following:

    "Obamacare to raise claims cost 32 percent, study shows" - CBS News

    "Schumer Admits Health Insurance Premiums Have Increased" Real Clear Politics you can listen to Chuck Schumer admit that Obamacare has made insurance more expensive.

    "Maryland Offers Glimpse At Obamacare Insurance Math" Kaiser Health News

    "Health Actuaries: Obamacare Rates Will Soar" Everyday Health

    "Health Insurers Warn on Premiums" WSJ.

    Apparently the experts, and even the politicians agree that Obamacare is pushing rates up by at least 25%.

  • Noodlekaboodle Poplar Grove, UT
    May 14, 2013 1:03 p.m.

    @Patriot
    If your janitor friend has insurance through his wife he doesn't have to purchase it again through his job. One insurance policy is enough to satisfy the ACA requirements.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 14, 2013 11:52 a.m.

    Premiums the last three years have not gone through the roof, they've increased at the slowest rate in half a century so the letter writer is just plain wrong. (Of course a lot of the reason for the slow rate of increase is due to the recession, Obamacare has had minimal effect so far since most of Obamacare doesn't go into effect until 2014).

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    May 14, 2013 11:50 a.m.

    here is a real life Obamacare nightmare...

    school districts in Utah ...and nationwide...are having to inform all of their aid's that there will be NO MORE 40 hour work weeks offered to aids going forward (July 1) due to the mandates of Obamacare that all 40 hour work week employees MUST be provided health care whether they want it not. Of course the Utah school districts ...and I suspect nationwide ...won't even come close to affording health care for their aids so the result is schools are going to lose their aids...aids that they depend on especially in Utah for academics, office work, janitorial etc... Most will not be willing to cut back to 27 hours a week and will seek work elsewhere. The schools will be forced to hire less experienced younger help or go with out. The teachers will suffer - the kids will suffer.

    My neighbor is a 40 hour per week janitor at the local grade school and he has insurance via his wife so he doesn't need or want a second insurance but Barack says you MUST have insurance. Get used to it people - your freedoms are leaving FAST!!

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    May 14, 2013 11:35 a.m.

    "I think Obamacare is a trainwreck waiting to happen."

    Then you agree with Obamacare's sponsor in the Senate. Max Baucus (D-Montana) said: "I just see a huge train wreck coming down."

    Baucus is retiring next year.

    "Deciding not to run for re-election was an extremely difficult decision. After thinking long and hard, I decided I want to focus the next year and a half on serving Montana unconstrained by the demands of a campaign."

    Translation: I can't win another election with my name all over Obamacare.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    May 14, 2013 10:07 a.m.

    "Obamacare" was the republican option when Bill Clinton first attempted to get a national healthcare program 20 years ago.
    "Obamacare" is exactly what Willard "Mitt" Romney gave Mass. when he was the governor.
    Is it perfect? No. Is it better than nothing? Absolutely yes!

  • Noodlekaboodle Poplar Grove, UT
    May 14, 2013 10:05 a.m.

    Could this letter writer be upset because health insurance exchanges are a real threat to an insurance agent who specializes in selling medical insurance policies?

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    May 14, 2013 9:42 a.m.

    I applaud your overuse of the word 'trainwreck'. While I agree that so called Obamacare is less than ideal, it's at least an idea, something the republicans could never bring forward. What we need is a system that eliminates health care agents, insurance companies with their buildngs,shareholders and margins, companies and hospitals that scam and pad the bills, the works. We need a single payer system that gets rid of all that private, for profit fat.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    May 14, 2013 8:32 a.m.

    "Mark Bertolini, the CEO of Aetna, the third-largest health insurer in the country, warned that many consumers would face “premium rate shock” with the advent of Obamacare’s major insurance regulations in 2014"

    Anyone think that Aetna's profits just might rise handsomely as a result of the predicted "premium rate shock"?

    A bit self serving I would think.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    May 14, 2013 8:27 a.m.

    @ Happy Valley. What was that word we heard the other day-ad hominem? Thanks for proving me right!

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 14, 2013 8:16 a.m.

    What is a “20-year career health agent”?

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    May 14, 2013 8:14 a.m.

    So when Mntmans facts are found to be misleading (not his fault, the radio told him so) he tries to change it to "wait and see" which is all, his original factoid was, a guess presented as data.

    The original article reads like a bad email right wingers keep forwarding to other Republi-Cons.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    May 14, 2013 7:43 a.m.

    Prag. In spite of your twisting everything the author said, I would remind you that not everyone lives in Maryland, even if what you said is true! Wait until the end of 2014 when your precious Obamacare has been fully implemented before you tell us who wonderfully inexpensive it is! If you work for a living and have company sponsored health care, ask your employer about the cost of Obamacare. Everything we were told about Obamacare is turning out to be a complete lie! But for you, that's great!

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    May 14, 2013 7:32 a.m.

    Simply said everything Karl says is false. To Mountainman here's the facts, despite what the CEO Aetna predicted in 2012, Aetna's official request in the state of Maryland last month for their 2014 rate increase was 12% to 15% a much smaller increase than Aetna had requested in previous years.

  • HS Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    May 14, 2013 7:19 a.m.

    Why let good facts get in the way. Premiums have not doubled. I get this is an opinion but why does the DN provide print time to such utter falsehoods?

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    May 14, 2013 7:17 a.m.

    @ The Real Maverick. "Actually, premium rates have increased at a lower rate since Obamacare was passed". Completely false! At the end of 2012, Mark Bertolini, the CEO of Aetna, the third-largest health insurer in the country, warned that many consumers would face “premium rate shock” with the advent of Obamacare’s major insurance regulations in 2014. He predicted that unsubsidized premiums would rise 20 to 50 percent, on average. For some people, premiums would double. “We’re going to see some markets go up as much as 100 percent".

  • isrred South Jordan, UT
    May 14, 2013 7:09 a.m.

    "Because of Obamacare, premiums are through the roof and expected to double again during the months ahead."
    This is an entirely misleading statement. Yes, premiums have gone up since passage of Obamacare, but they have gone up at a slower rate than they were skyrocketing BEFORE The Affordable Care Act was passed. To blame the increase on Obamacare is just flat out wrong.

  • Curmudgeon Salt Lake City, UT
    May 14, 2013 7:09 a.m.

    "There are other comparatively low-cost solutions to our health care dilemma." Nice going, Mr. Gillette. You tease us with that generality, then fail to reveal what those solutions are. Let me take a crack at it: single payer. Except that might jeopardize your career as a health agent, wouldn't it?

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    May 14, 2013 7:01 a.m.

    Actually, premium rates have increased at a lower rate since Obamacare was passed. I hate for that lil fact to get in the way of your rant.

    I hope Karl is advocating a single payer system. Because going back to the old system when insurance companies could deny or drop people for any reason certainly isn't progress.

  • Star Bright Salt Lake City, Ut
    May 14, 2013 6:23 a.m.

    Do we really trust our government and most especially the IRS to run this program? How many of their hacks will be getting waivers? And do we trust the IRS with the most personal of our information? The congress is wanting a waiver and do we believe they won't get it?

    This will cover millions of people not covered and we were promised it wouldn't cost more, and we could keep our Doctors.
    I don't believe in unicorns, and I don't want the government making health decisions for me and for my family. And above that knowing all my very personal health information. Think it can't be used against us, think again. Just look at the expanding criminal activity by the IRS going on now.